There is a long list of potential benefits of vitamin D – stronger bones, a brighter mood, and a healthier heart are just a few. But can it help with glucose metabolism, too?
A group of Japanese researchers recently conducted a study to determine just that.
Type-2 diabetes is a fast-growing condition, already affecting 480 million people worldwide. Estimates are that that number will increase to 700 million by 2045. The thing is, the disease is entirely preventable. It isn’t one of those things that get you: you get it.
How do people get it? Sugary diets combined with low activity and weight gain seem to be what causes it.
Every time you eat sugar, your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin that carries the sugar to your cells. It fuels your muscles and acts as your body’s preferred energy source. But when blood sugar is consistently high, your body can’t keep up. The ability to produce insulin is altered, and cells and muscles become insensitive to it, keeping sugar in the blood.
If left unchecked, type -2 diabetes can wreak havoc on your body. It can lead to a slow degeneration, making it harder for blood to circulate. Further, high levels of blood sugar become toxic. The sugar and the body’s inflammatory response wear away at functional tissue and cell health.
So, that’s why researchers were looking to see if vitamin D may help.
Unfortunately, the study showed no significant difference between a group that took a vitamin D supplement or one that took a placebo.
The results were published in BMJ.
Diabetes risk can be managed through healthy lifestyle choices. Getting some activity every day, at least 30 mins on most days of the week – a minimum of 150 minutes per week – and eating a diet comprised of fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, nuts, and legumes can help.
Save sugary beverages and snacks and carb-heavy foods like pizza and French fries for special occasions.