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Vitamin D may improve glycemic status in type 2 diabetes

by Deesha Patel



Vitamin D has become a hotly researched topic in the past few years. Vitamin D is naturally found in the sun’s ultraviolet rays, as well as certain fish and dairy products. The body uses vitamin D to aid in calcium absorption and regulate the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the blood, which prevent bones from becoming brittle or thin. Thus, it is important for preventing rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults. However, vitamin D is also vital for cell growth, immune function, and reduction of inflammation. Because of its multiple roles, an increase in vitamin D intake has been associated with a better prognosis of autoimmune diseases and reduction in the risks of breast and colon cancers.

Nikooyeh et al. in Iran investigated the impact of vitamin D along with calcium through yogurt drinks in patients with type 2 diabetes. Ninety patients were randomized into one of three groups: a control yogurt drink (no vitamin D and 150 mg of calcium), vitamin D-fortified yogurt drink (500 IU of vitamin D and 150 mg of calcium), or vitamin D and calcium-fortified yogurt drink (500 IU of vitamin D and 250 mg of calcium). Each patient consumed the specified yogurt drink twice daily for 12 weeks. The researchers measured levels of fasting serum glucose (sugar in the blood), glycated hemoglobin (approximate amount of blood sugar in the past 2 to 3 months), homeostatis model assessment of insulin resistance (decreased ability of insulin to help transport glucose), serum lipid profile (cholesterol), and percentage fat mass at baseline and at the end of 12 weeks.

The researchers found that vitamin D levels increased significantly and by a similar amount in the vitamin D-fortified group and the vitamin D and calcium-fortified group compared to the control group. Glycated hemoglobin and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance decreased significantly and by a similar amount for both the vitamin D-fortified group and the vitamin D and calcium-fortified group compared to the control group. Fasting serum glucose, waist circumference, and body mass index also decreased significantly for the vitamin D-fortified group and vitamin D and calcium-fortified group compared to the control group. However, the reductions were slightly greater for the vitamin D-fortified group than the vitamin D and calcium-fortified group.

Nikooyeh et al. concluded that daily consumption of a vitamin D-fortified yogurt--either with or without added calcium--improved glycemic status in patients with type 2 diabetes. The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends a daily average of 600 IUs of vitamin D for healthy people ages one through 70. It recommends 400 IUs per day for infants and 800 IUs per day for those over 70. Excessive intake of vitamin D can lead to adverse effects.





References
1. Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D. National Institutes for Health. February 25, 2011. Available at
http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/.
2. Nikooyeh B, Neyestani TR, Farvid M, et al. Daily consumption of vitamin D- or vitamin D + calcium-fortified yogurt drink improved glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011; 93(6).
3. Lab Tests Online. A1c and eAG. Lab Tests Online. March 22, 2011. Available at
http://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/a1c/glance.html.
4. Lab Tests Online. Insulin Resistance. Lab Tests Online. March 22, 2011. Available at
http://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/conditions/insulin_resistance.html.

This article was published on Wednesday May 25, 2011.
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