Vitamin D improves insulin handling, aids diabetic moms and their babies

Better insulin sensitivity, weight, and fat

Doctors wanted to test if a low- calorie diet plus vitamin D could improve insulin sensitivity in overweight people low in vitamin D. In this study, 18 obese, nondiabetic men and women, aged 18 to 70, deficient in vitamin D, went on a low-calorie diet, plus a placebo or 25,000 IU of vitamin D per week.

After three months, the placebo group had lost 10 percent of body weight while those taking vitamin D saw a 7.5 percent decrease. The placebo group lost an average of 2.4 pounds in fat mass, while the vitamin D group lost 3.2 pounds.

Vitamin D levels increased to 17 from 14 nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng/mL) for placebo, and doubled to 30 from 15 ng/mL for vitamin D. One in three in the placebo group saw a 20 percent improvement in insulin sensitivity compared to three in four of those taking vitamin D.

Pregnancy and diabetes

Women can develop diabetes during pregnancy, a condition called gestational diabetes. Doctors reviewed three vitamin D studies covering 223 women with gestational diabetes. Compared to placebo, women taking vitamin D saw lower total and LDL cholesterol levels, and increases in HDL, the “good” cholesterol. Also, the vitamin D group had lower levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, a sign of systemic inflammation.

In two other studies covering 129 women with gestational diabetes, babies born to mothers who had taken vitamin D during pregnancy were less likely to develop jaundice—a yellowing discoloration of the skin due to immature liver function.

Reference: Obesity Research Journal; 2018, Vol. 26, No. 4, 651-7

Natural Insights for Well Being February 2019

We’re dedicated to discovering the benefits of good nutrition and healthy lifestyle, and hope the above article informs and inspires you to take an active role in your health.

Articles shared on our site are to provide nutritional information only and do not replace professional medical advice.