Multivitamins in Type 2 Diabetes.




Annals of Internal Medicine

Related Monographs

Consumer Data: Multivitamin Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
Professional Data: Multivitamin Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2


Diabetes mellitus, a term that means "the running through of sugar," was first identified in the 1st century AD. The disease was described in old books as "the melting down of flesh into urine." Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition where there is less insulin than what the body needs. This can be low insulin, a problem with the release of insulin, insulin that cannot work in the cells that need it, or insulin that is inactivated before it is able to function. Diabetes mellitus is a disease in which the body does not produce or does not use insulin effectively. It is not simply hyperglycemia, or too much glucose (sugar) in the blood.

Diabetes can affect people of any age. It increases the risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, retinopathy (a disease of the retina) and blindness, peripheral neuropathies (a disease of the nervous system), circulation problems that can lead to amputation, problems with the immune system, and skin ulcers and poor wound healing.

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine examined the risk of infection commonly seen in type 2 diabetes and the use of a multivitamin supplement. Participants included 130 diabetics aged 45 to 64 years. This group of patients took either a multivitamin/multimineral supplement or placebo for a year. The results showed that those taking the placebo had more infections that those taking the supplements. Among those taking the placebo, 93% reported an infection. Of those taking the supplements, only 17% reported infections. The authors concluded that a multivitamin/multimineral supplement reduced patient reported infections and that larger studies should be conducted with other conditions.1


1. Effect of a Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement on Infection and Quality of Life. Ann Intern Med. 2003;138:365–371.