Type two diabetes is on the rise and becoming more prevalent in our society. As most of us know, it is dependent on diet and inactivity. Most people who have been diagnoses with type two diabetes didn’t just wake up one day and had diabetes. Before someone becomes a type two diabetic, they are usually over-weight and have a hard time controlling blood sugar levels. But once they are diagnosed with type two diabetes, it is a lifetime conditions that has to be treated and monitor.

I have heard many people, struggling with weight control and complications that come along, wish for a “magic” pill to improve their health. Unfortunately, for the wishers, there is no such thing and the good ol’ method of a healthy diet and exercise is here to stick. Great news is, a healthy diet can be supplemented (in a pill form) to obtain optimal nutritional benefits. Although it is crucial to get adequate levels of nutritional vitamins, as they are all equally important to our health, Vitamin D maybe the closest thing to a “magic” pill for people who struggle with weight and are prediabetic.
According to an article published in To Your Health, researches have examined the correlation between serum levels of Vitamin D, insulin sensitivity, blood sugar control, metabolic disease and type two diabetes (T2D). In this study of over-weight subjects predisposed to diabetes and vitamin D deficient, it was concluded that the administration of Vitamin D (1,200 UI per day) for 16 weeks increased serum level Vitamin D, insulin sensitivity, and an insulinogenic index. An insulinogenic index computes the function of pancreatic beta cells, which are the body’s producers and secreters of insulin. At the beginning of the study, the participants serum levels of Vitamin D were 20ng/L or less. The positive results of increased beta cell function and insulin sensitivity where seen when serum levels of Vitamin D reached 24ng/L. The increase of beta cell function increases the production and secretion of insulin, which in turn, helps manage blood sugar levels.

To go further, another study switched focus and looked at the the effects Vitamin D has on type two diabetes and insulin resistance, not just insulin sensitivity and glucose control. From the Diabetology and Metabolic Symdrome, a before and after study looked at the participant’s values of fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and a hemostatic model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and how they are influenced by Vitamin D supplements. Their results “showed significant improvements in serum FPG, insulin and in HOMA-IR after treatment with vitamin D, suggested that vitamin D supplementation could reduce insulin resistance in T2DM.”.

There is no evidence if Vitamin D deficiencies cause type two diabetes later in life or if low levels are associated with other risk factors of type two diabetes. Nevertheless, it is important to remember the benefits a nutritional diet and it is recommended for pre diabetic patients to get their Vitamin D levels assessed by a healthcare professional to see if a Vitamin D supplement could be their “magic” pill.

James, M. (2014, July 1). Vitamin D to Prevent Diabetes. Retrieved from http://www.toyourhealth.com/mpacms/tyh/article.php?id=2009
Talaei, A., Mohamadi, M., & Adgi, Z. (2013, February 26). The effect of vitamin D on insulin resistance in patients with type 2 diabetes. Retrieved from http://www.dmsjournal.com/content/5/1/8

Written by Katie Olsen, ProActive Chiropractic Intern and soon-to-be new ProActive Chiropractic licensed chiropractor, in December 2014.