Vitamin D supplements may not benefit kidney health in diabetes

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In a study from Stanford University, scientists examined the potential of vitamin D supplementation for protecting the kidney health of people with pre-diabetes.

They did not find the benefit of vitamin D on kidney health.

In the general population, low blood vitamin D levels have been associated with higher risks of various diseases, including type 2 diabetes and kidney disease.

The team did a secondary analysis of the Vitamin D and type 2 diabetes (D2d) study to evaluate the effects of vitamin D supplementation on kidney health in people with pre-diabetes, a condition that increases the risk for type 2 diabetes, which in turn is the leading cause of kidney disease.

The study assigned 2,423 adults with overweight/obesity and pre-diabetes to vitamin D34000 IU per day or placebo, for a treatment duration of 2.9 years.

The study is unique because we recruited individuals with high-risk pre-diabetes, having 2-out-of-3 abnormal glucose values, and the team recruited more than 2,000 participants, representing the largest vitamin D diabetes prevention trial to date.

During the trial, there were 28 cases of kidney function worsening in the vitamin D group and 30 in the placebo group, and the average change in kidney function during follow-up was similar in both groups.

The results did not show a benefit of vitamin D supplements on kidney function.

About 43% of the study population was taking outside-of-study vitamin D, up to 1000 IU daily, at study entry, though.

Among those who were not taking any vitamin D on their own, there was a suggestion for vitamin D lowering the amount of urine protein over time, which means that it could have a beneficial effect on kidney health.

The team says additional studies are needed to look into this further.

They add that vitamin D supplementation is popular, and it’s difficult for clinical trials of vitamin D supplementation to show a benefit if the population studied is not vitamin D deficient.

If you care about supplements, please read studies about vitamin B9 deficiency linked to higher dementia and death risks, and this is how much vitamin C you need for better immune health.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about plant nutrients that could help reduce high blood pressure, and milk and water are the most efficient for absorbing vitamin D.

The study was conducted by Sun H. Kim et al and published in CJASN.

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