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Vitamin D May Lower Inflammation in People with Type 2 Diabetes

High blood sugar levels trigger inflammation, which in turn can cause insulin resistance. A recent study suggests that vitamin D supplementation may help reduce inflammation in people with type 2 diabetes.


For this systematic review, researchers identified 28 randomized controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation that looked at inflammatory markers in people with type 2 diabetes. They chose 20 for their final analysis. Participants in the studies ranged from 15 to 118 people and vitamin D dosages ranged from 200 IU to 6000 IU daily or from 50,000 IU to 60,000 IU weekly. A few studies used a single bolus dose of 300,000 IU.


Intervention duration ranged from eight weeks to 12 months, with the majority lasting 12 to 24 weeks. Most of the studies used a placebo as a control, but two used usual care and three used calcium supplementation. Eight of the studies examined inflammatory markers as primary outcomes, while the rest examined them as secondary outcomes.


The researchers found that, when compared with a control, vitamin D supplementation was associated with significantly lower C-Reactive Protein (CRP) levels, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) levels, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) levels. All three are markers of inflammation.


They also noted that vitamin D supplementation was associated with significantly increased leptin levels but did not seem to have an effect on adiponectin, interleukin-6m or E-selectin levels.


Researchers from Pure North S'Energy Foundation and University of Saskatchewan led the study. It was published on May 25, 2018, in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.


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.

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