Meta-analysis associates vitamin D supplementation with improved glycemic control, HDL, CRP

April 23, 2019

An article appearing on March 8, 2019, in Current Pharmaceutical Design reported findings from a meta-analysis of eight trials that found associations between vitamin D supplementation and improvement in glycemic control, inflammation and HDL cholesterol among those who received vitamin D supplements.

“Insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and chronic inflammation are important risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD),” wrote authors V. Ostadmohammadi and colleagues. “Hence, vitamin D supplementation might be an appropriate approach to decrease the complications of CVD.”

The researchers selected eight trials that included a total of 630 participants with cardiovascular disease for their analysis. Trials evaluated the effects of vitamin D supplementation on glycemic control, lipid profile and inflammation as indicated by levels of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). Trial duration ranged from eight weeks to nine months.

A significant reduction in fasting plasma glucose and insulin concentrations as well as insulin resistance was revealed in association with vitamin D supplementation. In addition, insulin sensitivity and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol improved in association with vitamin D. Furthermore, vitamin D was associated with a significant reduction in CRP, indicating lowered inflammation.

In their discussion, the authors observed that vitamin D helps protect against diabetes-related complications via antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects, in addition to helping normalize the expression of proinflammatory markers involved in insulin resistance.

“To our best knowledge, this is the first meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials assessing the effect of vitamin D supplementation on glucose homeostasis parameters in patients with metabolic syndrome and related disorders,” the authors announced.

“This meta-analysis demonstrated some beneficial effects of vitamin D supplementation on improving glycemic control, HDL cholesterol and CRP levels among patients with cardiovascular disease,” they concluded.

Apply What You’ve Learned: Vitamin D

  • Although sunlight exposure is one way to increase one’s vitamin D, ultraviolet (UV) light exposure, whether out-of-doors or in a tanning bed, increases the risk of skin cancers. The American Academy of Dermatology’s position on vitamin D includes the following: “The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that an adequate amount of vitamin D should be obtained from a healthy diet that includes foods naturally rich in vitamin D, foods/beverages fortified with vitamin D, and/or vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D should not be obtained from unprotected exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.”1
  • While some foods contain vitamin D, one would need to consume a lot of them on a daily basis to obtain an optimal level of this vitamin. Vitamin D supplements are an inexpensive and easy way to elevate serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D to optimal levels.
  • Periodic testing for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] can help guide your choice concerning how much of the vitamin you need to consume. Life Extension®’s optimal range for 25(OH)D is 50-80 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).
  • Medical research has associated sufficient levels of vitamin D with protection against a number of conditions. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows only one claim for vitamin D: Adequate calcium and vitamin D throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

    1. American Academy of Dermatology. 2010 Dec 22. Position Statement on Vitamin D. Click Here
    2. Office of Food Safety in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 2009 May. Click Here


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