Cardiovascular Damage in Diabetics Reduced by Vitamin D
Diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular complications. Diabetics also tend to have low levels of vitamin D. Recent research suggests that high doses of vitamin D may improve heart health in diabetics by decreasing the central aortic augmentation index.
The central aortic augmentation index measures central aortic blood pressure (blood pressure at the root of the aorta). It has been shown to be a predictor of adverse cardiovascular events, and the higher the index, the higher the risk.
The study included 47 participants with type-2 diabetes who took either 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily or a placebo for one year. At the conclusion of the study, participants who took the vitamin D had a 7 unit decrease in the central aortic augmentation index, dropping from 32.9 to 25.9. In comparision, the placebo group saw an increase of .40 units, from 26.8 to 27.2.
The researchers also found an increase in adiponectin in the supplement group, while no change was observed in the placebo group. Adiponectin is a hormone that keeps the body's metabolic processes, including glucose, functioning properly.
This study was conducted by researchers at the Wolfson Medical Center and Tel Aviv University in Israel. It was published online ahead of print on March 1, 2013, in Clinical Nutrition.
Previous studies have shown vitamin D to be associated with improved kidney health, reductions in the risk of skin cancer, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, and improving age related eye degeneration.
Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.