Research Finds Vitamin D May Lower Diabetes Risk in Obese
COLUMBIA — University of Missouri researchers found vitamin D supplements can help obese children and teens control their blood-sugar levels, which may help prevent the disease.
Catherine Peterson, an associate professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at MU, stated in a press release that by increasing the amount of vitamin D intake, researchers got a response that was nearly as powerful as using prescription drugs.
"We saw a decrease in insulin levels, which means better glucose control, despite no changes in body weight, dietary intake or physical activity," Peterson said.
Peterson and her colleagues studied 35 pre-diabetic obese children and adolescents who were undergoing treatment in the MU Adolescent Diabetic Obesity Program.
All of those in the study had insufficient or deficient vitamin D levels and had similar diets and activity levels.
The release stated that participants randomly were assigned either a high-dose vitamin D supplement or a placebo. The participants continued the intake of the supplement for six months.
According to the study, those who took the supplement became vitamin D sufficient.
"For clinicians, the main message from this research is to check the vitamin D status of their obese patients, because they're likely to have insufficient amounts," Peterson said.
"Adding vitamin D supplements to their diets may be an effective addition to treating obesity and its associated insulin resistance."
The statement said that this vitamin helps maintain healthy bones, muscles and nerves and enters bodies through sunlight exposure, diet or supplements. Peterson said Vitamin D insufficiency is common, but it can be more detrimental to those who are obese.
Peterson said that adding vitamin D supplements is a natural, inexpensive way to help obese children and teens decrease their odds of developing.