A reader recently accused me of “pushing” vitamin D.
Now–if someone accused me of pushing one of big pharma’s dangerous drugs, like some other doctors, it would be a problem. But in my position, I really only push the science behind vitamin D. So if “pushing” the science means I “push” vitamin D, so be it.
It seems each week, another study on the importance of vitamin D hits the presses. Most recently, researchers found vitamin D can help control and even prevent Type II diabetes and its dangerous complications.
You see, Type II diabetes commonly causes destruction of the small blood vessels that supply the eyes, kidneys, and peripheral tissues–such as the extremities of the arms and legs. And experts believe when sugar in the blood rises too high, the excess sugar binds with proteins to create compounds that damage and weaken small blood vessels. (For example, excess sugar binds with the protein hemoglobin, which is a standard measure of long-term blood sugar control by the “hemoglobin A1C” blood test you’ve probably heard about.) This damage can eventually lead to retinal bleeding, blindness, kidney failure, and gangrene to the toes, feet, and fingers, as well as poor wound healing.
The new study evaluated medical records of 557 patients with Type II diabetes admitted to an outpatient clinic between January and March 2010. They matched these participants with 112 healthy controls.
At the study’s outset, the researchers measured vitamin D blood levels (25-OH vitamin D) of all the participants. They came away with two major findings…
First, Type II diabetics with nephropathy (kidney damage) had lower vitamin D levels. Plus, patients with more severe diabetic complications tended to have the lowest vitamin D levels. Second, the researchers found Type II diabetics with vascular damage (damage to blood vessels) also had lower vitamin D levels.
A major reason why people with Type II diabetes must manage blood sugar levels is to avoid the dangerous complications of the disease. Of course, Metformin is the one diabetes medication actually shown to lower blood sugar and reduce the vascular complications of diabetes. It also lowers your risk of pancreatic and other cancers, and helps manage healthy weight. As I uncovered, Metformin originally derives from French lilac, an ancient European herbal remedy, so it’s a safe and effective treatment.
Make sure you have adequate vitamin D intake. Especially if you have Type II diabetes.
The science shows the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is way too low. And many people don’t even get the paltry RDA of vitamin D, let alone the optimal levels of this critical nutrient.
Caution: research shows cholesterol-lowering statin drugs (supposedly given to reduce the risk of heart disease) cause toxic side effects and increase the risk of Type II diabetes. (Ironically, Type II diabetes is the leading cause of cardio-metabolic heart disease today.) Furthermore, since the body makes vitamin D from cholesterol metabolites in the skin, taking statins can be a double whammy for Type II diabetes and vitamin D levels.
I recommend everyone supplement year-round with 10,000 IU of vitamin D.
Furthermore, taking Metformin together with vitamin D is a real example of complementary medicine. Of course, Metformin can interfere with absorption of vitamin B12. So you should also take a high-quality vitamin B complex daily that contains at least 12 mcg of vitamin B12.
- “The relationship between microvascular complications and vitamin D deficiency in type 2 diabetes mellitus,” BMC Endocr Disord. 2015: 15 (33)