Diabetes is one of the most common medical conditions in the world, with over 29 million people diagnosed in the U.S. alone. As these patients know, living with diabetes can be a total nightmare. There are the daily insulin injections, the constant monitoring of blood sugar. There's also the fact that diabetes usually gets worse with age, even if it's well-managed.
For decades now, researchers and medical experts have been looking for new treatments for diabetes. They are aiming to either cure the condition entirely, or slow its progression. Many patients are hoping for an all-natural treatment that helps curb the effects of their diabetes. Fortunately, new research shows that something as simple as taking a daily supplement may actually help slow the progression of the condition.
A new study out of Canada has found that Vitamin D supplementation may help slow the progression of type 2 diabetes in patients who have recently been diagnosed or ones who are pre-diabetic.
Researchers from the Université Laval in Quebec conducted a study that consisted of 96 patients who had either been newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or were classified as pre-diabetics. Half of these participants received a high dose of Vitamin D3 once daily for six months, while the other half received a placebo.
The study found that the participants who received the Vitamin D3 had high overall Vitamin D levels in their blood which is beneficial for pre-diabetics, as low Vitamin D levels have been shown to be a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes.
These high Vitamin D levels also improved the function of insulin in the participant's muscle tissue, which showed a reduction in the progression of diabetes symptoms.
Seeing as the study used a very small population, there is still much more research to be done to conclude that Vitamin D supplementation can effectively slow the progression of type 2 diabetes. It would be beneficial for all patients to have a full, comprehensive bloodwork panel performed to assess the levels of Vitamin D already in their blood. Patients with normal to high Vitamin D levels may likely see no real improvement with Vitamin D supplementation, whereas patients with very low Vitamin D levels may see more significant improvement. It is also unlikely that patients with severe type 2 diabetes which has already shown progression see any significant improvement with Vitamin D supplementation.
Until a more conclusive study is performed, experts recommend diabetics and pre-diabetics only take Vitamin D supplements at their doctor's discretion.