Surprising 4 Benefits of Vitamin D on Diabetes Progression

I’m pretty sure this isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned that I’m not a one supplement:one condition type of person.  It’s all about a long list of lifestyle changes to avoid chronic disease.

However, when I come across a study that has a pretty potent effect with a simple intervention I can’t help but point it out.  This particular study looked at the effect of vitamin D supplementation on the progression to diabetes, the normalization of blood sugar levels and inflammation.

As I write this post, I can hear a radio commercial looking for guinea pigs for an “investigational new medication for the treatment of diabetes.”  I guess I just don’t understand.  Given how massively powerful lifestyle changes are for avoiding and “curing” diabetes and given how certain supplements (namely vitamin D, magnesium and fish oils) have also shown some potent effects, why on Earth do we need more new drugs?

Anyway, here are the details from the study that was done in an Eastern Indian population:

  1. There was a lower progression to diabetes in those who got vitamin D (11% versus 26.5%).
  2. Those who got the vitamin D were more likely to get back to having normal blood sugar (42% versus 20%)
  3. Those who got vitamin D had lower levels of inflammation (as measured by TNFα and IL6).
  4. Most importantly, baseline vitamin-D and 2 hour post prandial blood glucose independently predicted progression to diabetes.

Of these 4 points, #4 is arguably the biggest take home message.  You see–we already know that poor sugar handling 2 hours after drinking a putrid, awful, pure glucose drink is one of the better markers for determining if someone is on his or her way to diabetes.  The results of this study suggest that lower levels of vitamin D are equally important at predicting whether or not someone is going to become diabetic.  Wow.

So, for about $20 per YEAR (the cost of the vitamin D we sell in our office) you can go a long way towards fighting off diabetes.  Or, you could lounge around, eat like crap, stress yourself incessantly and drink out of plastic water bottles that you left in the car with the windows rolled up for 4 days in August and then just sign up for the research study I heard advertised on the radio.

Your choice.

James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.