New review of controlled trials finds vitamin D may help protect kidneys in diabetic patients

Posted on: September 1, 2014   by  Jeff Nicklas

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A new meta-analysis looked at all randomized controlled trials involving the effect of vitamin D on diabetic nephropathy and found that vitamin D improved markers of kidney function.

Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a progressive kidney disease that is a common and serious long-term complication of diabetes. Roughly 20 to 40% of people with diabetes develop kidney disease.

The kidneys are made up of countless tiny units called nephrons. These nephrons eliminate waste from the body. They do this by regulating the amount of water and soluble substances in the kidneys, filtering the blood, and disposing of any unneeded substances as urine.

In diabetes, high blood sugar levels causes these nephrons to slowly thicken over time, leading to scarring. The scarring of nephrons causes excess albumin, a type of protein, to leak into the urine. This is known as proteinuria and can lead to kidney disease over time.

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