(Relaxnews) – Brazilian researchers have shown that increased intake of vitamin D via the use of dietary supplements can lower blood glucose levels and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
This study, conducted by researchers at the University of São Paulo, followed 680 women aged 35 to 74 years. The participants provided blood samples for testing to assess the levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D), and thus evaluate the levels of vitamin D.
The researchers analyzed the same blood tests to determine the blood glucose levels of the subjects, and also asked if they were taking vitamin D supplements.
Their findings, published in the North American Menopause Association (NAMS), show that lower levels of 25 (OH) D seem to be associated with higher blood glucose levels.
On the other hand, vitamin D supplements and regular sun exposure, which increase levels of vitamin D, have been associated with reduced blood glucose levels.
Their findings suggest that taking vitamin D can help reduce the risk of diabetes by providing better glycemic control, possibly due to greater insulin sensitivity and pancreatic cell function improvement, scientists say.
They also noted that recent studies have shown a link between vitamin D and glycemic control.
"Although causality is not proven, low vitamin D levels can play an important role in type 2 diabetes," says Dr. Joanne Pinckerton, director of NAMS. And adding that "vitamin D supplements can help improve glycemic control, but more interventional studies are still needed."