Diabetes, Vitamin D & Inflammation Connection
Diabetes, Vitamin D & Inflammation Connection
We’re fans of the sun because it endows us with the privilege of a healthy immune system through the uptake of vitamin D. However, as we age, our bodies experience physiological changes, including the interference of external factors like illnesses and heavy medications. As a result, our ability to naturally absorb vitamin D from the sun’s rays becomes less adequate as compared to when we were young.
Vitamin D holds a ton of impactful advantages that benefits us positively. It helps maintain healthy joints, bones, teeth, and a well-functioning immune system.
For instance, vitamin D helps with calcium absorption, which promotes bone growth. Some studies have presented observations where vitamin D plays a significant role in preventing diabetes.
Adequate levels of Vitamin D also help in lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. And to further note, people with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing heart diseases, making them two times more likely to succumb to heart-related complications.
Seeing how vitamin D plays a significant role in the life of a person with diabetes, we’re here to explore the relation of vitamins with the onset of this chronic disease.
How optimal vitamin D levels can improve your health with diabetes
Here are a few aspects that connect vitamin D with diabetes.
Newly diagnosed people
People diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have lower vitamin D levels than those living without chronic disease. At times, the pancreatic cells struggle to produce sufficient insulin to help control blood sugar levels. Also, the pancreas may only respond to its full potential if enough vitamin D is available in the body. Studies have suggested that vitamin D may significantly support the effectiveness of pancreatic functioning.
Improvement in insulin sensitivity
Another study showed that a six-month vitamin D supplementation helped improve insulin sensitivity and resulted in its production in 96 participants. These participants were at high risk of or were newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Therefore, the findings in this study suggested that vitamin D may help delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Reduction of insulin resistance
People suffering from insulin resistance and low vitamin D levels are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Increasing vitamin D consumption to reach optimal levels required for your body can help in reducing insulin resistance. Therefore, this approach also contributes to preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Vitamin-D rich foods that support people with diabetes
As Vitamin D helps improve healthy living, it is crucial to know what D2 and D3-rich foods are suitable for people with diabetes.
Apart from the sun, foods with high vitamin D content include:
- Fatty fish (tuna, salmon, herring),
- Fortified foods (milk, yogurt, orange juice)
- Some cereals and bread
- Some forms of cheese (take in smaller amounts)
- Some kinds of mushrooms
Your doctor will likely recommend a supplement if your reports show extremely low vitamin D levels that food alone cannot replenish. This is because some patients with diabetes who exhibit consistently low levels of vitamin D are likely to develop other complications over the years, including the ones stated above, from heart disease to increased insulin resistance. Therefore, vitamin D supplements are recommended at doses suitable to each patient to prevent further health complications and improve their overall health.
600 IU is ideally the daily recommended intake for most adults. However, adults over age 70 require 800 IU. It’s the same for people with diabetes, where the frequency of doses is recommended according to their vitamin D levels.
Since vitamin D2 and D3 are two different forms, it is essential to understand which levels are suited for each person. For instance, plants and fortified foods are rich in vitamin D2, suitable for vegans. At the same time, animal meat and being naturally exposed to the sun gives you vitamin D3; these are beneficial for non-vegetarians.
How much is too much vitamin D?
Vitamin D indeed promotes good health; however, it cannot be taken liberally at the same time. Vitamin D toxicity occurs in people who have taken doses higher than the recommended units required per-day basis.
Too much vitamin D may increase the risk of fractures and falls among older adults. They may also suffer a high risk of developing kidney stones if higher vitamin D intake is alongside calcium.
Toxic vitamin D levels can lead to vomiting, nausea, and other complications. Therefore, before taking vitamin D supplements to improve your condition related to diabetes, it is crucial to visit your doctor and consult for the proper dosage.
Vitamin D plays a significant role in improving our overall health. People with diabetes can surely benefit from the consistent and planned dosage of this nutrient. Therefore, taking the necessary steps towards dietary habits, adequate sun exposure at the appropriate time, and supplement intake, if needed, are essential.
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