Stimulates the intestinal bacteria, enabling them to produce folic acid. As a coenzyme, PABA functions in the breakdown and utilization of proteins and the formation of blood cells, especially red blood cells. It is sometimes used in sunscreens.

Lancet 1:619-20, 1987    One wk. after starting intensive insulin therapy, 9/16 newly diagnosed, insulin-dependent diabetics age 10-35 ingested nicotinaminde, 3g daily while 7/16 ingested a placebo. Patients then gradually reduced their insulin dose. Nicotinamide was discontinued if insulin was still required after 6 months. Insulin was discontinued successfully in 6/9 patients in the nicotinamide group for 3, 6, 8, 27, 32, and 36 months, and in 5 patients in the placebo group for 1,1,1,8 and 9 months. After 12 months, none of the placebo group and 3 patients in the nicotinamide group remained in remission.

Of course the most famous  nutrient with respect to diabetes is chromium. JAMA:”chromium nutriture may affect glucose uptake in insulin-sensitive tissues” There was a study on subjects give low-Cr diet-> poor glucose tolerance, which was improved with Cr supplementation.

Vitamin E is good for vascular problems in diabetics (inhibits platelet aggregation).

Magnesium in diabetics: Not only is magnesium deficiency to most common disturbance in mineral metabolism observed in insulin-dependent diabetes, but low blood magnesium levels are associated with both the acute metabolic and late chronic complications. Mg is also essential for glucose homeostasis, it is a co-factor in glucose transport and regulates energy production in liver mitochondria. Mg also functions in the release of insulin and the maintenance of beta cells and increases the affinity and number of insulin receptors. Magnesium depletion is also associated with several diabetic complications including: cardiovascular, ocular, neurological, renal, osteoarticula and metabolic and magnesium losses during ketoacidosis can have life threatening effects on the myocardium and skeletal muscles. Hypomagnesemia is also linked to microvasuclar disorders including hypertension and retinopathy.

Sensory neuropathy in diabetics seems to respond to thiamin according to Dr. Stanley Mirsky, M.D. (80%). There are also a few studies which show that B12 injections improve diabetic neuropathy.

Br Med J 3:13-15, 1975    B6 supplementation (pyridoxine 100mg/day) given to women with gestational diabetes. 12/14  improved (no longer filled criteria for gestational diabetes)  Note: another study in adult onset diabetics saw no improvement with B6 supplementation.

Ann N Y Accad Sci 447:389-92, 1985    Insulin dependent pts. were removed from insulin and treated with biotin (16mg/day) or placebo fasting blood sugar levels fell in supplemented pt, but not in controls. Since biotin levels are typically elevated in diabetics, authors speculate that it may be abnormally bound and/or biologically unavailable.

SEIZURES: Folic acid levels is depleted following experimentally induced seizures. Careful, high folic acid supplementation may reduce B12 levels. Folic acid supplementation may lower anticonvulsant drugs levels in the blood.

Niacin supplementation may potentiate the effect of anticonvulsants Epilepsia 24: 238-44, 1983 Mice were studied and showed resistance to electroshock on lower doses of anticonvulsants. Clinically this has been observed in patients taking 1g niacin, 3x/day were able to lower their medication doses Niacin Therapy in Psychiatry  Charles Thomas

B6 levels are low in epileptics, poss due to drug therapy. Deficiency is known to cause seizures in humans and experimental animals–Ann N Y Acad Sci 166-7

Am J Clin Nutr 53:1266-74, 1991    8 Healthy young women given a diet devoid of B6. In 12 days, 2 women exhibited abnormal EEG tracings which were rapidly reversed by repletion of B6.