We all know by now that Vitamin D is much more than a vitamin; it’s more of a hormone and it seems almost every week we learn about another mechanism where it can help in the body. Happily, levels are easy to test for and any anomalies simply corrected in most cases. That is: if the ‘normal’ levels people are given with their mainstream medicine results are to be believed, which I often find they are not. Just to clarify: I’m generally looking for an ‘optimum’ amount of about 120-160nmol whereas I saw someone this week whose 56nmol was apparently ‘normal’. I think not.
Also, you have to make sure you are taking the right amount. On average 1000iu of Vitamin D will help to raise the nmol by about 7-10 points. So, in this example, to get from 56 to 120, the person would need to take about 6-7000iu per day and then retest after about 2 months. You can do it faster with eg. 25,000iu for up to a week and then a lower maintenance dose, but I generally prefer the slower build as I find it more sustainable.
Also, people then often think that their Vitamin D will remain at the level they got it to and stop supplementing or drop down too low. In diabetes cases, I tend to advise a check at the start of Autumn (because we need more Vitamin D for the colder months, so where is yours at the end of Summer?) and at the start of Spring (as we need less in the sunnier months). That way, you can manage your Vitamin D levels, being relatively sure you are maintaining an optimal level that works with the seasons and, importantly, not over-supplementing: there is such a thing as too much Vitamin D!
A GP test or a simple fingerprick test done twice a year after your first correction is a good policy. For supplementation, your doc will prescribe some possibly or use a good absorbable emulsified form like this 1000iu per drop version or this 2000iu one.
Anyway, I digress!
Vitamin D for Diabetes
An interesting article from Life Extension came across my desk this morning suggesting that Vitamin D could be crucial in lowering inflammation in diabetics. This should not really be news as we know one of Vitamin D’s main benefits is as an anti-inflammatory. However, I share it because not many people think of diabetes as an inflammatory disorder. In fact, most chronic diseases have a significant inflammation component and diabetes is no different.
Here’s the story:
Meta-analysis provides strong evidence that vitamin D may reduce chronic inflammation in diabetic men and women
The study authors conclude:
“This meta-analysis suggests that vitamin D supplementation may be a beneficial adjunct therapy to reduce subclinical inflammation in patients with type 2 diabetes, potentially preventing or delaying disease progression.”
And preventing and delaying the progression of diabetes is what we want, isn’t it? The moral of the story is: check your Vitamin D levels please, then correct and maintain them.