Science Update

New Review Investigates the Modulatory Properties of Vitamin D in Type 2 Diabetic Patients

Insulin resistance is often preventable and reversible through lifestyle changes, proper nutrition, supplements, exercise and stress management. Weight loss and exercise are the best treatments for restoring the body's ability to respond to insulin. 

Metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance are significant healthcare problems in the United States. Type 2 diabetes affects more than 300 million people. Up to 15% of patients cannot take metformin because of kidney damage risks. 

There are many different cofactors that are necessary for normal glycemic control, such as zinc, lipoic acid, magnesium, and chromium. 

According to a review published recently in Nutrients, researchers investigated the effect of vitamin D supplementation on inflammation and dyslipidemia in patients with type 2 diabetes.

This review included 30 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) between 2010 and 2022 consisting of 2,310 patients. The dose of vitamin D ranged widely from 10 IU to 300,000 IU, with a study duration between 3 weeks and 5 and a half years. Most individuals require between 5,000 IU and 10,000 IU daily to maintain an optimal vitamin D level between 50 to 70 ng/ml.

As a result, this review demonstrated that vitamin D supplementation had a significant reduction in tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) compared to placebo. In addition, there was a marginal effect on interleukin-6 (IL-6) with vitamin D supplementation as well as a significant reduction in triglycerides and an increase in HDL cholesterol. There were no statistically significant changes in total cholesterol or LDL cholesterol. These findings demonstrate that vitamin D supplementation may be beneficial in mitigating inflammation and dyslipidemia in patients with type 3 diabetes.

The review also demonstrates the benefits of vitamin D supplementation. It is essential to take a vitamin D supplement containing vitamin K, or to take a vitamin K supplement in addition to vitamin D to optimize the level of each vitamin and prevent arterial calcification. It is important to maintain optimal levels of fat-soluble vitamins, magnesium, and fish oil as more and more research demonstrates their intricate interrelationships with other nutrients.

There is no evidence for an ideal ratio between D and K1 or K2; however, we need to optimize each vitamin. It is also important to note that there is no known toxicity of vitamin K. 

All chronic conditions are multifactorial and many times vitamin D is just a small part of the picture. It is important to look deeper and address other common deficiencies such as magnesium, vitamin C, glycine, and essential fatty acids. Other beneficial nutrients include inositol, lipoic acid, delta and gamma tocotrienols, chromium, zinc, and berberine. Many of these nutrients play a synergist role with one another and it is important to have adequate levels for optimal function.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: MacGirlley R, Phoswa WN, Mokgalaboni K. Modulatory properties of vitamin D in type 2 diabetic patients: a focus on inflammation and dyslipidemia. Nutrients. 2023;15(21):4575