This past November was American Diabetes Month. As many know, diabetes is becoming a major public health problem. Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, with an additional 79 million Americans having prediabetes.
It is projected that one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050, unless public health efforts successfully slow down the rising incidence rate. Currently, diabetes costs $245 billion dollars in medical care costs.
Can vitamin D help in type II diabetes (T2D)? Can it slow the rising incidence rate? Can it help prevent T2D? Can it help treat T2D?
As outlined in our T2D summary, to date, research on the effect of vitamin D on T2D has been modest. There has been no research showing vitamin D supplementation can prevent T2D. For treatment, some research shows that vitamin D helps improve insulin sensitivity and decrease insulin resistance.
However, what would really excite the T2D research field is if vitamin D could improve glucose control. To date, randomized controlled trials haven’t been able to show that vitamin D can help in this department, and thus vitamin D has failed to excite clinicians for use of vitamin D as add-on therapy in T2D.