Type II diabetes affects more than 30 million individuals and the youth account for 20% to 50% of new onset diabetes cases.

Previous research has demonstrated low levels of vitamin D associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes. Vitamin D has been shown to play a role in reducing inflammation and shown to work on β-cells by inhibiting their destruction. 

According to a new study last week Nutrients, researchers investigated the effect of vitamin D supplementation on inflammatory markers in patients with type II diabetes.

This randomized controlled trial included 88 non-obese patients with type II diabetes who were deficient or insufficient in vitamin D. Each patient was randomly assigned to a vitamin D supplementation group or placebo. The vitamin D supplementation group received 30,000 IU of vitamin D once a week over a 6-month period. Laboratory assessment included serum levels of TNF-α, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), Interleukin-6 (IL-6) fasting glucose, HbA1c, vitamin D 25-OH, and parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels. In addition, a homeostatic model of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) was also assessed.

As a result, the group that received the vitamin D supplementation demonstrated higher vitamin D 25-Oh levels as well as a significant reduction in hs-CRP and TNF-α levels compared to placebo. There was a decrease in IL-6 levels but it was not significant. Also, there were no changes were seen in fasting glucose or HbA1c levels.

This study demonstrated that six months of vitamin D supplementation can reduce inflammatory markers in patients with T2DM. It is also essential to take a vitamin D along with vitamin K to optimize the level of each vitamin and prevent against arterial calcification. It is important to maintain optimal levels of all the fat soluble vitamins as more and more research demonstrates their intricate interrelationships with other nutrients.

There is no evidence for an ideal ratio between D and K1 or K2, however, we need to optimize each vitamin. It is also important to note their no toxicity of vitamin K.

All chronic conditions are multifactorial and vitamin D is many times just a small part of the picture. It is important to look deeper and address other common deficiencies such as magnesium, vitamin C, glycine, and essential fatty acids. Other nutrients that can help therapeutically include inositol and tocotrienols. Many of these nutrients play a synergist role with one another and it is important to have adequate levels for optimal function.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: El Hajj C, Walrand S, et al. Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Inflammatory Markers in Non-Obese Lebanese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 9 July 2020, 12(7), 2033.

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