Vitamin D and diabetes have been linked in several studies. Namely, it is believed that a vitamin D deficiency directly correlates to glucose intolerance and is often found in those with a lack of diabetes control. Many diabetes patients may be instructed to increase their vitamin D intake and even begin taking supplements in a treatment plan to control the condition. It has also been suggested in some studies that those with adequate vitamin D intake have a much lower risk of getting diabetes, even when genetics are at play against them.
Test and study results indicate that vitamin D plays an integral role in the body’s sensitivity to glucose and insulin. Unfortunately, it may not be possible to maintain proper intake with diet alone. Many turn to enriched supplements in pill, powder, or liquid form. Some medical professionals have even begun to prescribe vitamin D supplements to their patients who show deficiencies, especially females.
During initial studies of vitamin D and diabetes, prescribing supplements was considered an experimental treatment option. As evidence has become more solid around deficiencies and diabetes, supplements and natural intake became more common in treatment plans. Fish, seafood, and other foods high in vitamin D may be suggested as part of a diabetes diet, as well as oral supplements. These steps combined with proper exercise and monitoring may help patients keep their diabetes under control and live longer, healthier lives.
It is important to note, however, that no studies have been able to find a direct cause and effect type of link between vitamin D and diabetes. Many studies of large test groups indicate a very higher percentage of diabetes patients and a deficiency of vitamin D, and others have shown improvement once vitamin D is added to the treatment plan. No studies, however, have been able to directly claim that a vitamin deficiency is the cause or part of the cause of diabetes. For this reason, some medical professionals do not add this vitamin to their prescribed treatment plans for diabetes.
Vitamin D and diabetes link aside, it is also possible to overdose on this nutrient. Although 1,000 to 2,000 international units (IU) is the suggested daily amount for adults, more than this over a period of time can build up a toxic level in the body which can be very harmful. The minor symptoms include dizziness, vomiting, and upset stomach, while more serious concerns include organ damage and high blood pressure.