Vitamin D is the 'it' nutrient of the moment

January 12, 2009

Vitamin D is quickly becoming the "it" nutrient with health benefits for diseases, including cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease and now diabetes.

A recent review article published by researchers from Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing concluded that adequate intake of vitamin D may prevent or delay the onset of diabetes and reduce complications for those who have already been diagnosed. These findings appeared in the latest issue of Diabetes Educator.

"Vitamin D has widespread benefits for our health and certain chronic diseases in particular," said Sue Penckofer, Ph.D., R.N., study co-author and professor, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. "This article further substantiates the role of this nutrient in the prevention and management of glucose intolerance and diabetes."

Many of the 23 million Americans with diabetes have low vitamin D levels. Evidence suggests that vitamin D plays an integral role in insulin sensitivity and secretion. Vitamin D deficiency results in part from poor nutrition, which is one of the most challenging issues for people with diabetes. Another culprit is reduced exposure to sunlight, which is common during cold weather months when days are shorter and more time is spent indoors.

One study examined for this review article evaluated 3,000 people with type 1 diabetes and found a decreased risk in disease for people who took vitamin D supplements. Observational studies of people with type 2 diabetes also revealed that supplementation may be important in the prevention of this disease.

"Management of vitamin D deficiency may be a simple and cost-effective method to improve blood sugar control and prevent the serious complications associated with diabetes," said Joanne Kouba, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., study co-author and clinical assistant professor of dietetics, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing.

Diet alone may not be sufficient to manage vitamin D levels. A combination of adequate dietary intake of vitamin D, exposure to sunlight, and treatment with vitamin D2 or D3 supplements can decrease the risk of diabetes and related health concerns. The preferred range in the body is 30 - 60 ng/mL of 25(OH) vitamin D.

"People at risk for diabetes should be screened for low vitamin D levels," said Mary Ann Emanuele, M.D., F.A.C.P., study co-author and professor of medicine, division of endocrinology and metabolism, Loyola University Health System. "This will allow health care professionals to identify a nutrient deficiency early on and intervene to improve the long term health of these individuals."

Vitamin D deficiency also may be associated with hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, hypertension and heart disease. In fact, Penckofer recently published another study in Circulation that reported on the role of chronic vitamin D deficiency in heart disease. The Circulation study authors included Glen W. Sizemore, MD, emeritus professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, and Diane E. Wallis, MD, Midwest Heart Specialists, Downers Grove, Ill.

Source: Loyola University

Explore further: CDC wants America to eat its fruits and veggies

Related Stories

CDC wants America to eat its fruits and veggies

November 16, 2017
(HealthDay)—Fruits and vegetables can be delicious and nutritious—but too many Americans are still passing them by, a new report finds.

Switching to whole grain foods could trim your waistline

November 9, 2017
(HealthDay)— Put down that forkful of perfectly twirled white spaghetti, and grab a plate of whole grain pasta instead.

Scientists have found another reason for children to eat their green leafy vegetables

October 2, 2017
A study of 766 otherwise healthy adolescents showed that those who consumed the least vitamin K1- found in spinach, cabbage, iceberg lettuce and olive oil - were at 3.3 times greater risk for an unhealthy enlargement of the ...

Should you replace sugar with artificial sweeteners?

September 12, 2017
We know Australians are consuming too much sugar. The latest results from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show 52% of the population are consuming more than is recommended, and this is affecting weight and dental health.

Is ADHD really a sleep problem?

September 3, 2017
Around 75% of children and adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) also have sleep problems, but until now these have been thought to be separate issues. Now a in a pulling together of the latest research, ...

Tasty ways to get more fiber

September 29, 2017
(HealthDay)—You probably know that it's a good idea to eat more fiber. But do you know why?

Recommended for you

Dog ownership linked to lower mortality

November 17, 2017
A team of Swedish scientists have used national registries of more than 3.4 million Swedes aged 40 to 80 to study the association between dog ownership and cardiovascular health. Their study shows that dog owners had a lower ...

New shoe makes running 4 percent easier, 2-hour marathon possible, study shows

November 17, 2017
Eleven days after Boulder-born Shalane Flanagan won the New York City Marathon in new state-of-the-art racing flats known as "4%s," University of Colorado Boulder researchers have published the study that inspired the shoes' ...

Study: For older women, every movement matters

November 16, 2017
Folding your laundry or doing the dishes might not be the most enjoyable parts of your day. But simple activities like these may help prolong your life, according to the findings of a new study in older women led by the University ...

Vaping while pregnant could cause craniofacial birth defects, study shows

November 16, 2017
Using e-cigarettes during pregnancy could cause birth defects of the oral cavity and face, according to a recent Virginia Commonwealth University study.

When vegetables are closer in price to chips, people eat healthier, study finds

November 16, 2017
When healthier food, like vegetables and dairy products, is pricier compared to unhealthy items, like salty snacks and sugary sweets, Americans are significantly less likely to have a high-quality diet, a new Drexel University ...

Children's exposure to secondhand smoke may be vastly underestimated by parents

November 15, 2017
Four out of 10 children in the US are exposed to secondhand smoke, according to the American Heart Association. A new Tel Aviv University study suggests that parents who smoke mistakenly rely on their own physical senses ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

finfife
not rated yet Jan 13, 2009
Conspiracy theories (corporate elite who run show), typos (aother, shheep, anyhing ofcourse), profanity, spelling errors (sciensse, intrested), incoherence (since 2049?), grammatical errors (mental retarded, etc).

Wow. This post has it all.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.