July 29, 2019. An article published on July 25, 2019 in the European Journal of Endocrinology documents an association between vitamin D supplementation among newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics or those at risk of diabetes and a reduction in the progression of the disease.
“Our study has notable strengths including the randomized, double-blind design and the use of the gold-standard hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp to evaluate insulin sensitivity,” note authors Patricia Lemieux and colleagues. “Furthermore, we selected participants at high risk for type 2 diabetes or with newly type 2 diabetes, a group that had not been specifically studied using the clamp.”
The trial included 96 men and women with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels of less than 22 nanograms per milliliter who were prediabetic or recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Vitamin D levels and markers of glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity and secretion were measured before and after the six-month treatment period, during which the participants received 5,000 international units of vitamin D or a placebo.
After six months, average serum vitamin D levels were higher among those who received vitamin D supplements in comparison with the placebo group and pretreatment values. Peripheral insulin sensitivity and pancreatic beta-cell function also improved among those who received the vitamin, which suggests that it may slow the progression of metabolic function decline. “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 type 2 diabetes is unclear,” commented senior author Claudia Gagnon. “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.”