How Vitamin D Helps Protect Against Diabetes

Published: September 26, 2012
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Many studies link vitamin D deficiency with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. An exciting new study shows how vitamin D protects against the disease.

Researchers in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Tufts Medical Center in Boston studied 92 people at risk for diabetes. Their average age was 57 (growing older is a risk factor); they were obese (extra pounds is a risk factor); and their average A1c (a measure of long-term blood sugar levels) was 5.9%. (7% means you have diabetes.)

The Tufts researchers divided the study participants into four groups, with one group taking a daily dose of 2,000 IU of vitamin D. At the beginning and end of the study, the researchers measured "the disposition index" — a test of the function of the beta-cells of the pancreas, which pump out insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar (glucose).

After 16 weeks, the people taking vitamin D had a disposition index that increased by an average of 300. The disposition index in those not taking vitamin D decreased by 126. All in all, vitamin D improved beta-cell function by 15 to 30%.

"The results . . . suggest that vitamin D supplementation may help to improve the main defect in type 2 diabetes," the study's lead researcher told the media.

Because of the new research on vitamin D that continues to emerge, such as that reported in this study, we've recently increased the amount of vitamin D in the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder to exactly the amount used in this study — 2,000 IU.

References

"Effects of vitamin D and calcium supplementation on pancreatic β cell function, insulin sensitivity, and glycemia in adults at high risk of diabetes: the Calcium and Vitamin D for Diabetes Mellitus (CaDDM) randomized controlled trial."Mitri J, Dawson-Hughes B, Hu FB, Pittas AG. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Aug;94(2):486-94. Epub 2011 Jun 29.

Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of four research studies on their treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.

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