An analysis of an existing trial has found that regularly taking a high dose of vitamin D may slightly lower the risk type 2 diabetes. A team of scientists found that consuming vitamin D can help people with high blood sugar levels and lower the risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes.
However, the researchers also warned that high-dose vitamin D can lead to kidney stones and other health issues, so people should only take such a course after discussing it with their doctor.
According to scientists, vitamin D encourages cells in the pancreas to make more insulin, so it has been examined to check if high doses can help prevent type 2 diabetes.
The team conducted three randomised trials of people with pre-diabetes who consumed vitamin D or an artificial form of it, either once a week or every day depending on the trial. They found only small effects on their rate of progression to type 2 diabetes. According to reports, statistical tests found these effects could have arisen by chance.
Anastassios Pittas at Tufts Medical Center in Boston and his team have combined the results of the three trials. The researchers found that the trial which included more than 4000 participants was statistically significant.
During the trial, approximately 70 micrograms of vitamin D a day were used. However, it is much higher than the 10 micrograms a day recommended by dietary guidelines in the UK and the 15 micrograms recommended by those in the US.
Although, higher levels of vitamin D lead to calcium absorption from the gut, which can lead to kidney stones and kidney damage due to dehydration. However, the scientists maintained that such side effects weren’t seen in these three studies at a significantly higher rate than in the placebo groups.
According to Pittas, high-dose vitamin D may need to be considered as a treatment that is overseen by a doctor, rather than a supplement that someone buys and takes at home. The findings of the analysis was published in Annals of Internal Medicine journal on Tuesday.