Testing whether vitamin D delays onset of diabetes

January 9, 2014 by Marla Paul, Northwestern University

Northwestern Medicine is looking for volunteers to take part in the first definitive, large-scale clinical trial to investigate if a vitamin D supplement helps to delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes in adults who have prediabetes and are at high risk for type 2. Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the study is taking place at about 20 study sites across the United States.

The Vitamin D and Type 2 Diabetes (D2d) study will include about 2,500 people. Its goal is to learn if vitamin D—specifically D3 (cholecalciferol)—will delay the onset of type 2 in adults age 30 or older with prediabetes. People with prediabetes have that are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes.

D2d is the first study to directly examine whether a daily dose of 4,000 International Units (IUs) of vitamin D—greater than a typical adult intake of 600-800 IUs a day but within limits deemed appropriate for clinical research by the Institute of Medicine—helps keep people with prediabetes from getting type 2 diabetes. Based on observations from earlier studies, researchers speculate that vitamin D could delay the onset of diabetes in 25 percent of prediabetic subjects. The study will also examine if sex, age or race affect the potential of vitamin D to reduce .

"Millions of Americans are at risk for diabetes, a serious condition that can lead to heart disease, kidney disease and blindness," said Lisa Neff, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and an endocrinologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "Evidence from preliminary studies suggests there may be a link between vitamin D and diabetes risk. The D2d trial will help us determine whether vitamin D can delay the onset of diabetes in people at risk for the disease."

Half of the study participants will receive vitamin D. The other half will receive a placebo. Participants will have check-ups for the study twice a year.

The study will be double-blinded, so neither participants nor the study's clinical staff will know who is receiving vitamin D and who is receiving the placebo. The study will continue until enough people have developed type 2 diabetes to be able to make a scientifically valid comparison between diabetes development in the two groups, likely about four years.

D2d builds on previous NIH-funded studies of methods to delay or prevent type 2 diabetes, including the Diabetes Prevention Program, which showed that, separately, lifestyle changes to lose a modest amount of weight and the drug metformin are both effective in slowing development of type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes. However, additional safe and effective preventative strategies are needed to stem the increasing numbers of people developing .

Explore further: Large study to examine if vitamin D prevents diabetes

Related Stories

Large study to examine if vitamin D prevents diabetes

October 22, 2013
Researchers have begun the first definitive, large-scale clinical trial to investigate if a vitamin D supplement helps prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in adults who have prediabetes, who are at high risk for developing type ...

Vitamin D decreases pain in women with type 2 diabetes and depression

December 2, 2013
Vitamin D decreases pain in women with type 2 diabetes and depression, according to a study conducted at Loyola University Chicago. These findings were presented at an Oct. 24, 2013 research conference at Loyola's Health ...

Low vitamin D levels may increase risk of Type 1 diabetes

February 4, 2013
Having adequate levels of vitamin D during young adulthood may reduce the risk of adult-onset type 1 diabetes by as much as 50%, according to researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). The findings, if confirmed ...

Low vitamin D level is linked to greater chance of risk factors for Type 2 diabetes

June 25, 2012
A new study presents more evidence of a possible link between low vitamin D levels and a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The results to be presented at The Endocrine Society's 94th Annual Meeting in Houston.

Vitamin D deficiency linked to Type 1 diabetes

November 15, 2012
A study led by researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has found a correlation between vitamin D3 serum levels and subsequent incidence of Type 1 diabetes. The six-year study of blood levels ...

Millions on verge of diabetes don't know it, CDC reports

March 21, 2013
(HealthDay)—Only 11 percent of the estimated 79 million Americans who are at risk for diabetes know they are at risk, federal health officials reported Thursday.

Recommended for you

Genetic discovery may help better identify children at risk for type 1 diabetes

January 17, 2018
Six novel chromosomal regions identified by scientists leading a large, prospective study of children at risk for type 1 diabetes will enable the discovery of more genes that cause the disease and more targets for treating ...

Thirty-year study shows women who breastfeed for six months or more reduce their diabetes risk

January 16, 2018
In a long-term national study, breastfeeding for six months or longer cuts the risk of developing type 2 diabetes nearly in half for women throughout their childbearing years, according to new Kaiser Permanente research published ...

Women who have gestational diabetes in pregnancy are at higher risk of future health issues

January 16, 2018
Women who have gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during pregnancy have a higher than usual risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and ischemic heart disease in the future, according to new research led by the ...

Diabetes gene found that causes low and high blood sugar levels in the same family

January 15, 2018
A study of families with rare blood sugar conditions has revealed a new gene thought to be critical in the regulation of insulin, the key hormone in diabetes.

Discovery could lead to new therapies for diabetics

January 12, 2018
New research by MDI Biological Laboratory scientist Sandra Rieger, Ph.D., and her team has demonstrated that an enzyme she had previously identified as playing a role in peripheral neuropathy induced by cancer chemotherapy ...

Enzyme shown to regulate inflammation and metabolism in fat tissue

January 11, 2018
The human body has two primary kinds of fat—white fat, which stores excess calories and is associated with obesity, and brown fat, which burns calories in order to produce heat and has garnered interest as a potential means ...

0 comments

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.