Vitamin D supplementation slows the progression of type 2 diabetes in newly diagnosed patients and those with pre-diabetes, according to a recent study published in the European Journal of Endocrinology.
Findings according to the study published July 25, 2019, suggest that high-dose supplementation of vitamin D can improve glucose metabolism to help prevent the development and progression of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is an increasingly prevalent disease that places a huge burden on patients and society and can lead to serious health problems including nerve damage, blindness and kidney failure.
According to the report, people at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes (prediabetes) can be identified by several risk factors including obesity or a family history of the disease.
Dr Claudia Gagnon, and colleagues from Université Laval in Quebec, Canada, examined the effect of vitamin D supplementation on glucose metabolism in patients newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or identified as at high risk of developing the condition.
Markers of insulin function and glucose metabolism were measured before and after six months of high-dose vitamin D supplementation (approximately 5-10 times the recommended dose).
Although, only 46 per cent of study participants were determined to have low vitamin D levels at the start of the study, supplementation with vitamin D significantly improved the action of insulin in muscle tissue of participants after six months.
Gagnon comments: “We saw improvements in glucose metabolism following vitamin D supplementation in those at high risk of diabetes.
“This could be due to the fact that improvements in metabolic function are harder to detect in those with longer-term disease or that a longer treatment time is needed to see the benefits.”
Gagnon suggests that future studies should evaluate whether there are individual clinical or genetic factors that affect how different people respond to vitamin D supplementation and if the positive effect on metabolism is maintained in the longer term.
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