Twenty research institutions – including Stanford – are recruiting 2,500 patients for the first large clinical trial testing vitamin D supplementation’s effectiveness in slowing the onset of type-2 diabetes.
So why vitamin D? As explained in a press release:
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and is important for the functioning of bones, nerves, muscles and the immune system. Because the body needs sunlight to synthesize vitamin D, recent increases in vitamin D deficiency may be due in part to skin-cancer-prevention recommendations to limit sun exposure. Population-level studies have shown associations between low levels of vitamin D and type-2 diabetes, autoimmune diseases and cancer. But more research is needed to determine whether increasing vitamin D levels can help prevent such diseases.
Stanford researchers are hoping to enroll 150 participants for their portion of the trial, called d2d:
Participants should be at least 30 years old and have several risk factors for type-2 diabetes, including higher-than-normal results on fasting glucose and glucose-tolerance tests, as well as a body mass index in the overweight to obese range. For all eligibility criteria, visit http://www.d2dstudy.org.
Study participants will take 4,000 international units of vitamin D per day, which is above the typical intake of 600-800 IU but considered safe based on other studies. Participants randomized to the control group will receive a placebo. Glucose tolerance will be monitored every year to test for progression to type-2 diabetes. The study is expected to continue for about four years, or until enough participants have developed diabetes to gauge the effect of vitamin D.
Previously: Nature/nurture study of type 2 diabetes risk unearths carrots as potential risk reducers, Critically ill kids often vitamin D deficient, study finds, Avoiding sun exposure may lead to vitamin D deficiency in Caucasians and What’s the deal with vitamin D?
Photo by bradley j