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 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 those with type 2 diabetes. Due to the limited time spent outside, most of us lack vitamin D.
Here is what people need to know about the importance of vitamin D for diabetes management.
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, 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 the condition.
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 type 2, according to reports issued in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Benefits of Vitamin D
More studies are still necessary, stated the ADA. They claim that there is still not enough evidence that supports the daily use of vitamin D for managing the blood sugar levels in those 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 a sufficient amount of vitamin D might reduce insulin resistance.
As a result, vitamin D may be a crucial component in managing type 2. 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 the condition and vitamin D, it doesn’t prove that this vitamin is 100% effective for treating metabolic conditions.
Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency
Various signs might show people have a vitamin D deficiency. Some of them are:
- bone pain;
- muscle weakness;
- weak immune system.
While long-term deficiency can lead to:
- Alzheimer’s disease;
- Chronic fatigue;
- High blood pressure;
- Type 2 diabetes.
How to Get a Sufficient Amount of Vitamin D
To get the necessary levels of vitamin D, people should expose their skin to the sun every day for at least 15 minutes. This way, they can boost the body’s ability to produce vitamin D.
In addition, they can reduce the chance of developing diabetes or other more serious medical conditions.
Other sources of this vitamin are foods such as:
- Oily fish;
- Fortified foods (milk, orange juice, yogurt, bread, and some cereals);
- Some cheeses;
- Powdered milk.
What About Supplements?
If one’s vitamin D levels are extremely low, their doctor might recommend that they take a vitamin D supplement. To know which one is best suited for them and their health, people should consult with a doctor.
According to Palinski-Wade, it is best for those with diabetes to be screened first for vitamin D deficiency to know which supplement will be most appropriate for their condition.
How Much Vitamin D Is Enough for Diabetics?
Those who have decided to take vitamin D supplements should 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, those with both types of diabetes are no exception.
I Have Taken Way Too Much Vitamin D! What Now?
Be careful. Taking too many vitamin D supplements is not a good thing. In fact, if people think they have taken far too many supplements, they should consult with their doctor or healthcare provider.
The doctor will recommend that they do a blood test to confirm if they have Vitamin D excess or deficiency.
Nevertheless, do not consume supplements without consulting a doctor first. Never take medications that might affect the medical condition, especially if one has diabetes.
Consult with a doctor first, before making any changes to the diet or medications.