Science Update

New Study Investigates the Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Inflammatory Markers in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes affects more than 30 million individuals, and children and adolescents account for 20% to 50% of new onset diabetes cases. 

Previous research has demonstrated that low levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes. Vitamin D has been shown to play a role in reducing inflammation and inhibiting β-cell destruction.  

According to a new study last week in the July issue of Nutrients, researchers investigated the effect of vitamin D supplementation on inflammatory markers in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

 This randomized controlled trial included 88 non-obese patients with Type 2 diabetes who were deficient or insufficient in vitamin D. Each patient was randomly assigned to the vitamin D supplementation group or placebo group. The vitamin D supplementation group received 30,000 IU of vitamin D once a week over a 6-month period. Laboratory assessment included serum levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (has-CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6) fasting glucose, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) and parathyroid hormone levels. In addition, a homeostatic model of insulin resistance was also assessed. 

 As a result, the group that received the vitamin D supplementation demonstrated higher (25[OH]D) levels and a significant reduction in he-CRP and TNF-α levels compared to the placebo group. There was a decrease in IL-6 levels, but it was not significant. There were no changes seen in fasting glucose or HbA1c levels. 

 This study demonstrated that 6 months of vitamin D supplementation can play a role in the reduction of inflammatory markers in patients with Type 2 diabetes. It is also essential to take vitamin D along with vitamin K to optimize the level of each vitamin and prevent arterial calcification. It is important to maintain optimal levels of all fat-soluble vitamins, as more research demonstrates their intricate interrelationships with other nutrients.

 There is no evidence for an ideal ratio between vitamins D and K1 or K2; however, there is a need to optimize each vitamin. It is also important to note there is no known toxicity associated with high doses of vitamin K1 or K2.

All chronic conditions are multifactorial, and vitamin D is often only a small part of the picture. It is important to look deeper and address other common deficiencies such as magnesium, vitamin C, glycine and essential fatty acids. Other nutrients that may be beneficial include inositol and tocotrienols. Many of these nutrients play a synergistic role with one another, and it is important to have adequate nutrient levels for optimal function.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: El Hajj C, Walrand S, et al. Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Inflammatory Markers in Non-Obese Lebanese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 9 July 2020, 12(7), 2033.