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Vitamin D Supplements: New Study Shows Potential in Reducing Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Last week, I shared in this column that the US FDA recently approved the health label “Cheese may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes”. At the end of the article, I remind everyone that in addition to cheese, there are other foods that are related to reducing the risk of diabetes. Later, I received private messages from several readers on Facebook, asking whether nutritional supplements are related to reducing the risk of diabetes.

Nutritional supplements and diabetes

There are actually many nutritional supplements that are related to reducing the risk of diabetes or lowering blood sugar. For example, the minerals chromium, cinnamon, turmeric, and lipoic acid have all been shown to lower blood sugar in studies of varying sizes. However, if I had to choose the one that is easiest to implement, I would choose vitamin D. Because of two reasons:

First: Many people already take vitamin D, but the dosage may vary.

Second: Research on vitamin D supplements has focused on worsening prediabetes.

Before introducing this study, let’s review the A1C glycated hemoglobin (also known as glycated hemoglobin) test indicators for diabetes.


● A1C between 5.7% – 6.4%: Prediabetes

● A1C 6.5% or above: confirmed diabetes

Latest research: Vitamin D supplements may be effective in preventing the condition from worsening in patients with prediabetes

A study published just last month reviewed three previously published scientific tests to test the impact of vitamin D supplements compared with placebo on the progression of prediabetes to formal diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes.

Researchers analyzed more than 4,000 people with prediabetes, half of whom took 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily and the other half of whom took a placebo for three years. Data analysis shows:

● Vitamin D supplements reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 15%

● A patient’s vitamin D blood level is more closely related to risk. Researchers found that vitamin D levels higher than 125 nmol/L (≥50 ng/mL) reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 78% compared with those with levels between 50 and 74 nmol/L (20 – 29 ng/mL).

● Increasing the dosage of vitamin D supplements has no side effects and is relatively safe. After researchers calculated the risk of side effects, the results showed that this amount of vitamin D supplements had no impact on kidney stones, hypercalcemia, hypercalciuria, and the risk of death.

To be honest, a 15% risk reduction is not a major discovery, and it is actually far behind other methods of controlling diabetes. For example:

● Taking metformin medicine can reduce the risk by 31%

● Strict diet and exercise policy can reduce risk by 58%

The 15% risk reduction found with vitamin D supplements is similar to the food study, but since many people are already taking vitamin D supplements, it is not difficult to increase their intake. However, you need to seek professional advice from your doctor or registered dietitian before increasing your intake.

Is it ok to eat more foods high in vitamin D or go out in the sun?

Can. Under normal circumstances, I would recommend taking in nutrients through food first; however, since food is not the main source of vitamin D, you cannot rely solely on food and need supplements.Salmon, beef bran, eggs, imported milk and mushrooms can provide small amounts of vitamin D. For details, please refer to my previous articleColumn article. In addition, sunbathing can also increase the production of vitamin D. However, exposure to the sun without wearing sunscreen will increase the risk of skin cancer; therefore, it cannot be used as a stable source every day.

2024-03-14 09:22:27

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