In a nutshell
This study investigated the combined effect of vitamin D and calcium on the levels of sugar and fat in the blood of type 2 diabetes patients deficient in vitamin D.
Vitamin D is known to play a role in decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This is partly due to the beneficial effect of vitamin D on lipid profiles (the levels of various fats, such as cholesterol, in the blood). A calcium deficiency (a lack of calcium intake through the diet) has also been associated with type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Studies have investigated the effects of either vitamin D or calcium on diabetes. However, it has been suggested that vitamin D and calcium interact with one another. Hence it is important to investigate their combined effect on type 2 diabetes.
Methods & findings
This study investigated the combined effect of vitamin D and calcium on the cholesterol and sugar profiles of patients with type 2 diabetes. 118 type 2 diabetes patients deficient in vitamin D took part. Patients were treated with either vitamin D, calcium or both. A fourth group received a placebo (a drug with no therapeutic effect used as a control). Blood samples were taken to measure HbA1c (a measurement of average blood glucose levels over the past 3 months) and cholesterol levels.
In comparison to other groups, patients receiving vitamin D and calcium had a significant reduction in HbA1c. The average reduction in this group was -0.70%. A significant reduction of 10.36 mmol/l in low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) was also observed in the vitamin D and calcium group but not in other groups. Furthermore, high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (“good cholesterol) levels were significantly increased by 0.46 mmol/l in patients receiving both vitamin D and calcium but not in the other groups. Insulin resistance (decrease in sensitivity to the hormone insulin) also decreased in the vitamin D and calcium group.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that supplementation with both vitamin D and calcium may improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels in type 2 diabetes patients with vitamin D deficiency.
The fine print
The correct dosage of vitamin D and calcium remains to be determined.
Consult your doctor if you have type 2 diabetes and you are concerned that you may be deficient in vitamin D.
Published By :
Jul 09, 2014
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