Scientists and medical professionals have known for years that not getting enough Vitamin D in your system is bad for your health. In recent years, several studies have backed up early theories and clinical work, with some studies linking Vitamin D deficiency with the onset of Type 2 Diabetes, or Diabetes mellitus. Now, Science Daily reports (March 26) that a recent study indicates that simply getting enough Vitamin D into a child or adolescent's system just might thwart the disease.
Including with those that are obese...
As with Vitamin D deficiency, there has also been a link established between being obese and developing Type 2 diabetes. Studies have also shown that many obese adolescents tend to develop a Vitamin D deficiency. Researchers at the University of Missouri, studying 35 pre-diabetic obese children, discovered that when they simply increased the intake of Vitamin D alone, the amount of insulin decreased.
Missouri associate professor of nutrition and exercise physiology Catherine Pererson and colleagues found the connection. "By increasing vitamin D intake alone," she said, according to Science Daily, "we got a response that was nearly as powerful as what we have seen using a prescription drug. We saw a decrease in insulin levels, which means better glucose control, despite no changes in body weight, dietary intake or physical activity."
All participants in the study were Vitamin D deficient and were given either a high dosage Vitamin D supplement or a placebo. Those given the supplement saw found that not only were they no longer Vitamin D deficient but that the amount of insulin in their blood decreased.
However, Peterson cautions against simply administering high doses of Vitamin D, noting that the study merely showed a relationship and doctors should simply monitor their patients for an insufficient level of the vitamin. "Adding vitamin D supplements to their diets may be an effective addition to treating obesity and its associated insulin resistance," she added.
But in individuals that are obese, the amount of Vitamin D becomes even more important due to the fact that fat tissue tends to store the vitamin instead of processing it, thus requiring the average obese person to acquire double the amounts of Vitamin D than a person of normal weight.
Still, adding the vitamin to diets to maintain sufficiency could act as a preventive for adult-onset diabetes. And Vitamin D is important for overall individual health as well. It helps maintain healthy bones, muscles and nerves. In 2010 a study revealed that a dose of Vitamin D in winter months helps lift the moods of individuals.
Vitamin D can be acquired naturally, through sunlight and through various foods. Huliq's own Stacey Doyle suggested 10 healthy foods to add to one's diet to help thwart Vitamin D deficiency, which a February study had found might be a major contributor to Type 2 diabetes.
The University of Missouri supplement study was published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
(photo credit: Ragesoss, Creative Commons)