Vitamin D Consumption May Help Lower Diabetes Risk

By Camille H, Parent Herald November 06, 11:24 am
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Researchers launched a worldwide clinical trial that will gauge whether or not Vitamin D supplements can help lower risks of diabetes, according to Yahoo!

Approximately 20 medical centers in the United States participated in the trial that was funded by the National Institutes of Health. The trial which they called the D2d study involved 2,500 volunteers suffering from pre-diabetes - a condition that has affected 79 million Americans.

"Without an effective intervention, about 10 percent of people with prediabetes will progress to type 2 diabetes each year," reports Anastassios Pittas, MD, co-director of the Diabetes Center at Tufts Medical Center, who has received a grant of more than $40 million over five years from the NIH as part of the D2d study.

The clinical trial looked at pre-diabetes participants aged 30 and older and randomly assigned them to take 4,000 international units of vitamin D3 or a placebo. Their health will be tracked for a maximum of four years. "There's a lot of hype about potential benefits of vitamin D-which is one of the most popular supplements with sales of $425 million a year in 2009-but not enough good scientific evidence to support a recommendation for or against taking it for diabetes prevention," adds Dr. Pittas.

"For type 2 diabetes to develop, people have to have two problems: their bodies become resistant to insulin and the beta cells in their pancreas don't produce enough insulin to keep up with demand," Dr. Pittas lamented. The researcher also confirmed that the best sources of vitamin D include oily types of fishes like salmon and mackerel, beef liver, egg yolks and other fortified dairy products. 

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