Vitamin D supplements may promote greater insulin sensitivity, lowering glucose levels and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a study claims. The benefits of vitamin D in promoting bone health are already well known, researchers said.
Other recent studies have shown a clear relationship between vitamin D and glycemic control, suggesting that vitamin D increases insulin sensitivity and improves pancreatic beta-cell function, they said. The study, published in the journal Menopause, involved 680 Brazilian women aged 35 to 74 years, to evaluate the possible association between vitamin D deficiency and increased glycemia.
Of the women interviewed, 24 (3.5 percent) reported using vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D supplementation was found to be negatively associated with high glucose levels, researchers said.
Habitual exposure to the sun also provided the same association, demonstrating that vitamin D deficiencies are associated with high blood glucose levels, they said. "Although a causal relationship has not been proven, low levels of vitamin D may play a significant role in type 2 diabetes mellitus," said JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). "Vitamin D supplementation may help improve blood sugar control, but intervention studies are still needed," Pinkerton said.
(With inputs from agencies.)