New meta-analysis finds that proper vitamin D levels greatly improve the health of diabetics and heart patients
(NaturalHealth365) Vitamin D deficiency has become a global health problem, and more than one billion people across the world are either vitamin D insufficient or deficient. Studies have found that a deficiency in the “sun vitamin” can lead to health problems like poor glycemic control, obesity and hypertension. In fact, a chronic vitamin D deficiency can contribute to the development of certain types of cancer.
Today, we’ll focus on how a lack of vitamin D has been linked to diabetes. A new meta-analysis discovered that vitamin D has the potential to improve glycemic control. Published in Current Pharmaceutical Design, the meta-analysis looked at eight different trials and found a significant reduction in fasting glucose and insulin resistance with vitamin D supplementation.
And it’s not the first time a link has been found between vitamin D and blood glucose levels. Previous studies have also uncovered a relationship between low concentrations of vitamin D in the blood and high blood sugar levels.
Glycemic control is just the beginning: There are other health benefits to maintaining optimal vitamin D levels
Along with improving glycemic control, researchers also found that ‘bad’ cholesterol levels improved with the addition of vitamin D. Although it didn’t lower triglycerides or improve good cholesterol levels, the improvement in LDL (bad) cholesterol was marked.
Supplementing with vitamin D was also associated with a big reduction in high sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker that indicates the presence of inflammation. The authors believed that it was the anti-inflammatory and antioxidants effects of the vitamin that helped lower inflammation levels.
Vitamin D supplementation excellent for diabetics and patients with heart disease
Three of the most significant risk factors for heart disease are high cholesterol, chronic inflammation, and insulin resistance. Researchers wanted to learn more about whether vitamin D supplementation is a way to lower the risk of heart disease or reduce complications in patients who already have it.
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This meta-analysis showed some big benefits of vitamin D supplementation for people who have diabetes – a condition that increases the risk of heart disease and cancer.
How much vitamin D do you need? The Food and Nutrition Board recommends that most adults get 600 IU per day, while people over the age of 71 need 800 IU daily. The problem – only a few foods have vitamin D naturally. Foods containing this vitamin include salmon, cheese, egg yolks, mushrooms, and fortified milk and cereals.
Of course, it should be noted that – for many people – these ‘conventional’ recommendations may be seriously inadequate to correct vitamin D deficiencies. Millions of people are walking around with vitamin D blood levels lower than 30 ng/ml. And, most integrative healthcare providers tend to suggest supplementing with far more than 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day to correct a vitamin D deficiency.
Another thing to keep in mind: Sun exposure is the best way to stimulate vitamin D production in the body. But, for many people living in northern climates, the angle of the sun is too weak to produce a sufficient (positive) effect.
Bottom line: it’s nearly impossible to get enough vitamin D from your diet alone to combat high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and chronic inflammation. That’s why taking a supplement is so important, especially for individuals who have a high risk of heart disease.
If you have diabetes, heart disease, or you want to lower your risk for both conditions, talk to your integrative healthcare provider (today) about taking a vitamin D supplement.
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