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Increased intakes of vitamin D may improve diabetics’ mood and blood pressure

July 4, 2013

A high-dose supplementation with vitamin D may be an easy adjunct therapy for depression and major cardiovascular risk factors among women with type 2 diabetes, reports a new US study.

The clinical pilot study included 46 women (average age of 55 years) who had suffered from type 2 diabetes for an average of 8 years and had insufficient blood concentrations of vitamin D (18 ng/ml), who took a weekly vitamin D dose of 50,000 international units for six months (1). The study results showed that the participants’ vitamin D concentrations reached sufficient levels (an average of 38 ng/ml) and their moods improved significantly: while a depression symptom survey indicated moderate depression at the beginning of the study, the survey results indicated no depression after six months. In addition, blood pressure im-proved, with the upper pressure decreasing from 140.4 mm Hg to 132.5 mm Hg.

The researchers commented that larger, randomized controlled trials are needed to determine the impact of vitamin D in diabetes patients. About 10 percent of the people in the United States have diabetes, and the incidence is projected to increase to 25 percent by 2050. Women with type 2 diabetes have worse disease progression than men, which may be due to depression, a malady that affects more than 25 percent of women with diabetes. Depression impairs a patient’s ability to manage her disease by eating right, exerci-sing, taking medications, etc. Many Americans do not get enough vitamin D (the recommended dietary allowance for women 51 to 70 is 600 IU per day) and people with diabetes are at especially high risk for vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency because of limited intake of foods high in vitamin D, obesity, lack of sun exposure and genetic variations.

References

  1. Penckofer S. M. et al. Vitamin D improves mood and blood pressure in women with diabetes. Data presented at the American Diabetes Association 73rd Scientific Sessions in Chicago, USA, June 2013.