Type 2 Diabetes: Can High Vitamin D Intake Decrease the Risk?
If you have been wondering about the link between vitamin D and type 2 diabetes, you may be onto something. People with prediabetes who take a vitamin D supplement may have a slightly lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to new research.
A study published yesterday in the Annals of Internal Medicine have made these claims. Researchers, though, have cautioned people against vitamin D supplementation on their own i.e. you will still need to consult your doctor before taking supplements.
Details of Study Involving Vitamin D and Type 2 Diabetes
Scientists from Tufts University School of Medicine in Massachusetts conducted a meta-analysis and review of three separate clinical trials investigating the effects of vitamin D on the probability of developing type 2 diabetes.
Researchers sought out studies with adult participants who took 4,000 IU of vitamin D supplements and had a minimum three-year follow-up. In the end, there were 2,097 people who took the vitamin D supplements and 2,093 people who took the placebo.
On the days of the trials:
- About 22 percent (475 people) of the vitamin D group were newly diagnosed with diabetes.
- About 25%, or 524 people, in the placebo group were diagnosed with diabetes for the first time.
- With these numbers in hand, the researchers concluded that those who took vitamin D supplements had a 15% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
More than ten million people around the world are in the pre-diabetes stage. Researchers say that vitamin D supplements could be an inexpensive way to delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in these individuals.
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However, the study authors pointed out that a 15% drop is less than what can be achieved with other ways of preventing type 2 diabetes:
- Extreme lifestyle changes can reduce risk by 58%, according to a reliable source.
- Metformin can cut risk by 31%, according to a credible source.
- Overall, people had no problems taking the vitamins and minerals.
There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence rates of adverse events like kidney stones or high calcium levels in the urine or blood between the groups.
More Info About Vitamin D
According to the National Institutes of Health (N.I.H.), vitamin D is an essential nutrient. It:
- Assists nerves in sending signals to the brain
- Helps the body absorb calcium
- Is beneficial to the health of bones and muscles
- Helps the immune system fight off infections
Vitamin D requirements shift as people get older. Newborns and infants up to 12 months old need 400 IU daily. For those 71 and above, the daily recommended intake of the vitamin is 800 IU. For everyone else, 600 IU per day is suggested.
Vitamin D can only be found in a select few natural foods. Fish oils, mushrooms, beef liver, and eggs are all examples of them. Meanwhile, check out these top 5 health benefits of vitamin D.