A new Brazilian study found that an increase in vitamin D levels with supplements appears to be associated with lower glucose levels and, consequently, with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
A new study by scientists from the University of São Paulo Public Health School examined 680 women aged 35 to 74 years who provided blood samples for serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25).[OH]D) levels – a test used to determine the level of vitamin D.
The researchers also analyzed samples to determine the glucose level in women and asked them about the use of vitamin D supplements.
The results, published online by Menopause magazine, the journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), showed that lower serum 25 (OH) D levels appear to be associated with higher blood glucose levels.
On the other hand, vitamin D supplements and regular sun exposure, which increase vitamin D levels, were associated with lower glucose levels.
The findings suggest that a higher level of vitamin D may help reduce the risk of diabetes, providing better glycemic control, possibly due to increased insulin sensitivity and improved cell function in the pancreas, the researchers said.
They also note that other recent studies have also shown a link between vitamin D and glycemic control.
“Although causation has not been proven, low levels of vitamin D can play an important role in type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Joanne Pinkerton, executive director of NAMS. "Adding vitamin D can help improve blood sugar control, but interventional studies are still needed."