In a new study, researchers found that vitamin D supplementation may slow the progression of type 2 diabetes in newly diagnosed patients and those with pre-diabetes.
The finding suggests that high-dose supplementation of vitamin D can improve blood sugar metabolism to help prevent the development of diabetes.
The research was conducted by a team from Université Laval in Quebec.
Type 2 diabetes is a disease that places a huge burden on patients and society. It can lead to serious health problems including nerve damage, blindness, and kidney failure.
People with pre-diabetes may have risk factors including obesity or a family history of the disease.
Previous research has shown low vitamin D levels are linked to a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but some studies have reported no improvement in metabolic function.
Whether vitamin D supplementation provides any benefits to patients with pre-diabetes or with newly diagnosed diabetes, especially in those who have low vitamin D levels, is unclear.
In this study, the team examined the effect of vitamin D supplementation on blood sugar metabolism in patients newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or identified as at high risk of developing the condition.
The people’s 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).
The team found that supplementation with vitamin D strongly improved the action of insulin in muscle tissue of participants after six months.
They suggest future studies should evaluate whether there are 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 run.
The lead author of the study is Dr. Claudia Gagnon.
The study is published in the European Journal of Endocrinology.
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