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Higher vitamin D levels, supplementation associated with decreased glucose levels

Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension [1].

January 30 2019. An article appearing on January 18, 2019 in Menopause [2], the journal of The North American Menopause Society, reports the findings of researchers at the University of Sao Paulo School of Public Health in Brazil of an association between higher serum vitamin D levels and lower levels of blood glucose in women. Higher glucose levels are associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes [3].

“Vitamin D plays an important role in bone metabolism,” noted authors Tânia Valladares, MSc, and colleagues. “There is now evidence that a higher serum level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) is associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus, because it provides better glycemic control, possibly by promoting greater insulin sensitivity and also by improving pancreatic beta cell function.”

The study included 680 women between the ages of 35 to 74 years whose fasting blood samples were analyzed for glucose and 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. Low vitamin D levels of less than 30 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) were detected in 65.4% of the participants.

Having a vitamin D level of less than 30 ng/mL was associated with a 29% greater risk of having a blood glucose level of 100 milligrams per deciliter or more compared to having a higher level of the vitamin. Although only 3.5% of the participants reported supplementing with vitamin D, this group was less likely to have high glucose levels than those who did not use vitamin D supplements.

“Although a causal relationship has not been proven, low levels of vitamin D may play a significant role in type 2 diabetes mellitus,” commented Dr JoAnn Pinkerton, who is the executive director of the North American Menopause Society. “Vitamin D supplementation may help improve blood sugar control, but intervention studies are still needed.”

—D Dye