Vitamin D plays an important part in many crucial roles in the body like keeping the bones, joints, and teeth healthy. Plus, it helps the immune system function properly. The body produces this vitamin in response to the sun exposure.
But, it can also be found in many foods. When we expose our bare skin to the ultraviolet-B rays of the sun, our body starts to convert the cholesterol derivative into the ”sunshine” vitamin- vitamin D.
Moreover, every tissue and cell in our body has a vitamin D protein receptor.
However, many people around the world are deficient in this vitamin, especially people with type 2 diabetes. Due to the limited time spent outside, most of us lack vitamin D.
Here is what you need to know about the importance of vitamin D for diabetes management.
According to many studies, there is a significant link between type 2 diabetes and vitamin D.
A spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Vandana R. Sheth, CDE, RDN, claims that people who lack this vitamin have a higher chance of developing diabetes.
What is worse is the fact that people who have been recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, tend to have a higher chance of deficiency of this vitamin.
In other words, they are more likely to have lower levels of vitamin D in their system compared to the other people who do not have diabetes.
According to Shahzadi Devje from Canada, sometimes the cells of the pancreas have a difficult time producing the necessary insulin important for managing the blood glucose levels.
In addition, the receptors in the pancreas will only start working when the body has a sufficient amount of vitamin D.
Furthermore, high levels of vitamin D might be able to reduce the chance of developing diabetes type 2, according to reports issued in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
More studies are still necessary, stated the ADA. They claim that there is still not enough evidence that supports a daily use of vitamin D for managing the blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
What is important, however, is to maintain sufficient levels of vitamin D in the system, higher than 20-30 nanograms per milliliter.
According to a review issued in the World Journal of Diabetes in July 2015, getting sufficient amount of vitamin D might reduce the insulin resistance.
As a result, vitamin D may be a crucial component in managing type 2 diabetes.
Moreover, it might even help prevent the development of this metabolic condition.
However, it is important to point out that most of this research is focused on epidemiological and observational studies.
Even though the reports show that there is a strong connection between diabetes and vitamin D, it doesn’t prove that this vitamin is 100% effective for treating the metabolic condition.
Various signs might show you have a vitamin D deficiency. Some of them are:
While long-term deficiency can lead to:
To get the necessary levels of vitamin D, you should expose your skin to the sun every day for at least 15 minutes. This way, you can boost the body’s ability to produce vitamin D.
In addition, you can reduce the chance of developing diabetes or other more serious medical conditions.
Other sources of this vitamin are foods such as:
If your vitamin D levels are extremely low, your doctor might recommend that you take a vitamin D supplement. To know which one is best suited for you and your health, you should consult with a doctor.
According to Palinski-Wade, it is best for patients with diabetes to be screened first for vitamin D deficiency to know which supplement will be most appropriate for their condition.
If you have decided to take vitamin D supplements, you have to pay close attention to the dosage.
The daily intake goal for adults is 600 IU, while for adults who are older than 70, the most recommended goal is 800 IU – says the National Institutes of Health.
In fact, people with both types of diabetes are no exception.
Be careful. Taking too much vitamin D supplements is not a good thing. In fact, if you think you have taken far too many supplements, you should consult with your doctor or healthcare provider.
The doctor will recommend that you do a blood test to confirm if you have Vitamin D excess or deficiency.
Nevertheless, do not consume supplements without consulting your doctor first. Never take medications that might affect your medical condition, especially if you have diabetes.
Consult with a doctor first, before you make any changes to your diet or medications.