Vitamin D is essential for good health, it helps absorb calcium and phosphorus for the diet and keeps bones, teeth and muscles strong. Vitamin D supplements could help with symptoms of diabetes, according to experts. Vitamin D is believed to help improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin, a hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels and thus reducing the risk of insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes.
In a study published in the European Journal of Endocrinology, the effects of vitamin D was examined and how it could help with type 2 diabetes and obesity.
The team looked at markers of insulin function and glucose metabolism which was measured before and after six months of high-dose vitamin D supplementation.
Half of the middle aged participants were assigned vitamin D daily and the others a placebo. Less than half of the participants were determined to have low vitamin D levels but noted that supplementation with vitamin D was highly effective.
The result of the study saw high-dose supplementation can improve glucose metabolism to help prevent the development and progression of diabetes.
Canadian scientists have presented new data that suggests high doses of vitamin D could slow type 2 diabetes or may even protect people from developing it.
Lead author of the study, Doctor Claudia Gagnon of Laval University said: “The reason we saw improvements in glucose metabolism following vitamin D supplementation in those at high risk of diabetes, or with newly diagnosed diabetes, while other studies failed to demonstrate an effect in people with long-standing diabetes is unclear.
“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.”
“Type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes are a growing public health concern and although our results are promising.
“Further studies are required to confirm our findings to identify whether some people may benefit more from this intervention, and to evaluate the safety of high-dose vitamin D supplementation in the long term,” added Doctor Gagnon.
The American Diabetes Association said: “Renewed interest in vitamin D has occurred recently because it has been linked to everything from cancer and heart disease and diabetes.
Vitamin D deficiency and diabetes have one major train in common, both are pandemic.
Evidence indicates that vitamin D treatment improves glucose tolerance and supplementation with vitamin D has been shown to restore insulin secretion.
The recommended amount of vitamin D supplements for adults and children over the age of one is 10mcg per day.
To make vitamin D, you need sunlight on your skin and the best months to get your fill are between April and September.
Other benefits of vitamin D supplements include aiding in weight loss, regulating appetite and reducing belly fat.
Speak with your GP before embarking on supplements or increasing your intake of vitamin D.