Skip to comments.Vitamin D supplements show anti-diabetes potential
Posted on 10/27/2009 9:16:38 AM PDT by neverdem
Supplements of the sunshine vitamin may improve insulin resistance and sensitivity, both of which are risk factors for diabetes, says a new study from New Zealand.
Insulin resistance, whereby insufficient insulin is released to produce a normal glucose response from fat, muscle and liver cells, was significantly lower in women following high-dose vitamin D supplementation, according to results of a randomised, controlled, double-blind trial published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
The optimal effects were observed when blood vitamin D levels were in the range 80 to 119 nanomoles per litre, said the researchers, providing further evidence for an increase in the recommended adequate levels.
D for diabetes
This is not the first time that vitamin D has been linked to diabetes. A recent meta-analysis of data from observational studies and clinical trials in adults showed a "relatively consistent association" between low intakes of calcium, vitamin D, or dairy intake and type-2 diabetes (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Vol. 92, pp. 2017-2029).
The new study involved 81 South Asian women with insulin resistance living in New Zealand. The subjects, aged between 23 and 68, were randomly assigned to receive either 100 micrograms (4,000 IU) of vitamin D3 or placebo daily for six months.
At the end of the test period, women in the vitamin D group experienced significant improvements in both insulin sensitivity and resistance, said the researchers, which was also accompanied a decrease in fasting insulin levels, compared to placebo.
The greatest improvement in insulin resistance was observed when blood levels of vitamin D, measured as 25- hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) the non-active 'storage' form of the vitamin were at least 80 nanomoles per litre.
Improving vitamin D status in insulin resistant women resulted in improved IR and sensitivity, but no change in insulin secretion, wrote the women. Optimal vitamin D concentrations for reducing IR were shown to be 80 to 119 nmol/l, providing further evidence for an increase in the recommended adequate levels, they concluded.
Shedding light on the sunshine vitamin
Vitamin D refers to two biologically inactive precursors - D3, also known as cholecalciferol, and D2, also known as ergocalciferol. The former, produced in the skin on exposure to UVB radiation (290 to 320 nm), is said to be more bioactive.
Both D3 and D2 precursors are hydroxylated in the liver and kidneys to form 25- hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), the non-active 'storage' form, and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D), the biologically active form that is tightly controlled by the body.
Source: British Journal of Nutrition Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1017/S0007114509992017
Vitamin D supplementation reduces insulin resistance in South Asian women living in New Zealand who are insulin resistant and vitamin D deficient a randomised, placebo-controlled trial Authors: P.R. von Hurst, W. Stonehouse, J. Coad
I remember 10 years ago someone mentioned that Vitamin D was the most effective Vitamin...and that we do one thing that causes more cancer and disease than anything....
Sunscreen blocks the absorption of Vit D....Vit D has been so reduced in our bodies from using sunscreen (and also, skin cancer has grown exponentially, too)
We are finding more and more, Vitamin D is so important
I worry more about that crapola on my skin the the sun shining on it.
Most people also work indoors which makes it harder to get Vitamin D from the sun.
I call crap on this. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes earlier this year. I eat more cheese and drink more milk than any 2 other people, plus I take daily supplements.
Cool, i take a Vitamin-D supplement daily because I work in an office with no windows.
I saw a 2 hour lecture about a week ago on Dish Network's Universityhouse channel done by a UCLA Phd on this very topic. Not trying to be a wise ass or anything, but what sunscreen does is block UVb penetration into your skin. UVb reacts with a layer in your skin which causes your body to produce Vitamin D. People with a lot of melanin in their skin, i.e., dark skinned people, have trouble with being vitamin D deficient, especially at higher latitudes, and especially in the winter. If you have a lot of melanin in your skin it acts as a natural filter to UVb. The professor who was doing the lecture said you only really get good D3 production between the hours of 11:00AM and about 2:00PM and you have to have 50% of your body uncovered and in direct sunlight for at least 20 minutes to reach the blood serum levels needed to fight off various diseases. This lecturer was talking citing six different studies which showed from 50%-75% reductions in several types of cancer, MS, influenza infection, and type 1 diabetes. I'll tell ya, after watching the case this lady made I went out and bought some D3 and started taking it daily.....
Maye it's more helpful in women?
Or just Asian women?
Maybe it has been helpful to you, and if you had not had a higher level of D in your diet you would have developed diabetes sooner?
Perhaps it's an ‘all else being equal’ for people who are insulin resistant, vitamin D is helpful.
The lecture I saw last week mentioned Vitamin D being beneficial for Type 1 diabetes. They didn't say anything about Type 2.
What really caught my eye was all six different studies this lecturer cited showed similar reductions (50%-75%!) in the rates of certain cancers and MS. Apparently, the current gubmint RDA for Vitamin D is way off the mark on the low side.
Please check the details.
The dosage noted is far in excess of what can be received from diet. The source of Vitamin D is not diet,it is manufactured by the skin as a result of exposure to the sun.
Recent study reveals that the vitamin D added to milk is barely adequate to prevent rickets in children. Vitamin supplements also contain lower levels than the 4000 units in the study.
There is far more to it than this study.
Check out this thread.
There are links that can be followed to several big time benefits.
If you are interested, there are several other good studies that offer a host of other benefits from >2000 units per day. They can be googled
Did they check your level of Vit D?
Dr. Joe Prendergast was a senior advisor to a start-up company I was with. He is an endocrinologist in Palo Alto, CA. He has been a pioneer in diabetes treatment, to include being persecuted by the medical community in California for teaching his patients to self monitor blood and then self inject insulin back in the 1960's.
He often has his patients take 50,000 UI (yes, 50k) of Vitamin D per day for 90 days. The chief objection to this is the worry of Vitamin D poisoning. Dr Joe cites studies that most people need to take this level before the body reaches saturation and is the necessary saturation uptake period that is well before toxicity levels.
If you visit his website, you can find a wealth of information there, as well as his weekly web program.
I was not a patient of his, but I believe some disclosure is warranted. I had been on prednisone for a long period of time and put on enough weight that I was worried about developing diabetes. His recommendation of an l-arginine supplement and the vitamin D suggestion helped my blood pressure and seemed to change my metabolism to allow me to loose weight like never before.
I was successful, but please check with your doctor before following anecdotal advice like mine.
AAAK! Just choked down two of those big boys, and dread doing the same again this evening. But it’s worth it.
If you body doesn’t produce enough insulin, isn’t that type I diabetes?
Insulin resistance I thought was type II, where your body produces plenty of insulin, but the receptors just don’t pay attention...
Yeah, I wish I had recorded that program. The Universityhouse channel on Dish Network runs college lectures on a variety of different subjects. Usually, it's some liberal hippie/dippie topic, but every once in a while they'll have something on archeology or medical issues or something that is interesting to me. This one kept me captivated for nearly 2 hours. The research data she presented on Vitamin D was really stunning.
They have founbd that even that isn’t enough. I have been a type 1 since I was 9yo and earlier this year my new doc tested me for vitamin D. Even though I drink milk eat cheese and yogurt I was still extremely low on vtamin D. They think it has something to do with the way diabetics absorb the vitiman and we really do need some extra. I was on 50,000IU a week but now am just using an OTC with 2000IU per day.
That isn’t the defination of type 1 or type 2. Type 1 means your body stopped producing insulin and you are always afflicted before the age of 40yo. Type 2 is due to age and lifestyle and the body either can’t use the insulin it produces or the pancreas can’t produce enough. Some type 2 will also at some point stop producing insulin but they still are classified as a type 2. Also type 1 is an autiommune diease where type 2 isn’t.
I work from home and there are some days, even some weeks that I don’t leave the house. I take Vitamin D supplements 10,000 IU/day (more if I’m coming down w/ the flu).
So what I said is basically correct...
NO it isn’t either I didn’t explain it right or you missed something in what I said? A type 2 never becomes a type one becauae the cause is different. A type one stops producing insulin because of a reaction of the immune system not because of lifestyle or age.
Me too with the prednisone intake - l-arg and Vit D (sunexposure) sounds good. I try this. Thanks for sharing!
I’m diabetic and have been taking Vit D for about 6 months. I have 1000 IU pills that are a nice, small oval shape. You don’t have to take big pills.
I’ve been reading about Vit D in the diabetes lit for maybe a bit over a year. I finally read enough about it in a variety of places that I thought I should give it a try. When I went to my endo, he suggested Vit D w/o any prompting from me and was happy that I had already started taking it. As a beige person who just spent 5 years in Seattle, I’m sure my Vit D reserves were depleted, so even though I can’t point to any direct improvement, I think that it’s a good idea to take it for general long term health.
His website looks interesting- he has a weight-loss program in it, as well as diabetic care. I have looked around on the Vit. D council site, and another Vit. D Centric site for a lot of good info. The Vit D Council has an in-home test kit so you can monitor your levels, but I haven’t tried it yet. I got an email from the Vitamin D council, asking people to connect with pediatricians, to see if they would supplement the special needs kids with D3, to try and prevent flus and colds.
What I am saying is this:
Insulin resistance IS NOT insufficient insulin. It is where for whatever reason, the insulin that’s there either doesn’t bind to the receptors, or it binds to the receptors but something else further down the metabolic pathway fails.
This is type II.
When the little Isles of Langerhans stop making any insulin, or the output drops dramatically (and you are correct, it usually happens at a very young age) then that IS NOT insulin resistance, that is Type I diabetes.
The article is somewhat poorly written, but at one point it says that vit D helped with IR, even though secretions remained at the same level.
That means the body didn’t produce any more or any less insulin, it simply started to utilize it better.
So we are not, at least in this article, talking about type I.
A little off-topic, but nanomoles per liter? We've come a long way...
People with a weak or bad liver will not process natural vitamin D from sunlight properly
Best way to supplement is to take D3, K2, A and cod liver oil on empty stomach
That’s actually above the usually recommended levels. I think most people these days are recommending 70-90.
I take 5K-10K units per day, usually about 6 days a week.
Take a day off just to make sure I don’t overload...
Weekly and biweekly vitamin D2 prevents vitamin D deficiency
October 26th, 2009
Boston University School of Medicine researchers (BUSM) have found that 50,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin D2, given weekly for eight weeks, effectively treats vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D2 is a mainstay for the prevention and treatment of vitamin D deficiency in children and adults. Continued treatment with the same dose of vitamin D2 every other week for up to six years after the initial eight-week period prevents vitamin D deficiency from recurring with no toxicity. The BUSM study appears online in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.
Vitamin D is essential for strong bones because it helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus from the food we eat. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets in children and the painful bone disease osteomalacia in adults. Vitamin D deficiency can also cause osteoporosis and has been linked to increased risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and infectious diseases including influenza, according to ...
LOL. Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. Beige person is so un-PC. He ought to be ashamed!
Get the 25-hydroxyvitamin D, aka 20[OH]D, test done. Find out if you are deficient. Type 2 diabetes is thought to be multifactorial in nature. IIRC, over two dozen genes have been implicated in type 2 diabetes. This study was limited to: "The new study involved 81 South Asian women with insulin resistance living in New Zealand." People of color living in temperate climates are routinely found to be deficient in vitamin D.
A quart of fortified milk is only supposed to have 400 international units of vitamin D, IIRC. That level is still the recommended daily allowance, but many now suspect that level to be far below what is needed. (Search the keyword vitamind. I posted at least a two articles about that.)
The Nutrient Data Laboratory has prioritized foods for analysis and has identified the following as important contributors of vitamin D: finfish and shellfish, naturally occurring sources, and fortified foods such as milk, calcium-fortified orange juice, breakfast cereals, American cheese, margarines, and yogurt.
Adequate levels of vitamin D may not be sufficient to avoid type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance is also associated with obesity.
That's what was prescribed for my mother recently when I got her doc to check her level.
There are two measuring systems for reporting Vitamin D levels in the body. With the first method, optimum serum Vitamin D levels are between 125 to 200 nanomoles per liter, and with the second scale, 50 to 80 nanograms per milliliter.
Generally in the US, we use the 2nd scale.
Thanks. Didn’t catch the difference...!
Jeez, first, I’m female. Second, though I am ‘black,’ my skin tone is beige, like an Hispanic’s. I am describing my color correctly. Blacks are advised to take Vit D because of skin color, and especially if they live in cloudy climes.
Can.not.win with FReepers.
I was just kidding with my comment! My wife is taking add’l D also because she is Type II and a moderately dark complexion (south Asian).
Close, classic type 1 diabetes means your body stopped producing insulin, or not making enough insulin as the beta cells are not entirely killed yet from the autoimmune reaction, and you are always afflicted before the age of 25 years old. Type 2 diabetes is usually characterized as insulin resistance in the obese older than 40 years old.
Maturity Onset Diabetes in the Young, MODY, is now well established as a manifestation of obesity and insulin resistance in those less than 25 years old, their version of type 2 diabetes. They also now recognize Type 1.5 Diabetes, aka Slow Onset Type 1 and LADA, Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults, in those older than 25 years old.
I could have sworn I posted an article discussing LADA. Maybe it was yanked. That link has a good disussion about it.
The autoimunne versions have antibodies, especially those against glutamic acid decarboxylase(GAD). When you can make insulin any more, you won't have any peptide C on the lab test.
Because of medication errors with abbreviations, abbreviations are now forbidden in many institutions, if not all. So nanomoles is easier to write than international units.
Do not take seriously, we don’t care what color
you are. I myself am sort of teal or perhaps puce?
It’s hard to tell.
Welcome to FR and for your comments.
I lived in Seattle for a short while back in the 70s.
I have recently started taking Vitamin D as a flu preventative, but after reading a lot of articles
like this have gone to 4-1000 iu per day.
Will let you know how it goes.
I am also type II diabetic.
Thanks for the link.
Should have been: "When you can't make insulin any more, you won't have any peptide C on the lab test."
That is when type 1 is suspected, peptide C is checked. Below normal levels of peptide C supports a type 1 diagnosis. GAD antibodies will confirm it or LADA.
Within the endoplasmic reticulum, proinsulin is exposed to several specific endopeptidases which excise the C peptide, thereby generating the mature form of insulin. Insulin and free C peptide are packaged in the Golgi into secretory granules which accumulate in the cytoplasm.
“can’t make insulin any more...”
That’s when your blood turns into something resembling high quality 90WT gear oil...
I have always believed, and remain convinced, that everybody should fast a few days a month, like 3-4
Reset the clock. Clean out the junk. Clear up the chemical pathways, that sort of thing.