A new study published in Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Obesity looks at the impact of Vitamin D deficiency on diabetes and cardiovascular risk, and says more research is definitely warranted.
The study connects the well-known worldwide prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency to rising incidences of cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus types 1 and 2, as well as cancer, autoimmune and dental diseases.
Reviewing all relevant literature shows plausible molecular mechanisms of the role played by Vitamin D, leading the researchers to conclude that “treatment with Vitamin D supplements appears to be an effective and inexpensive treatment that deserves to be explored.”
The background that inspired the new study states: “Vitamin D deficiency is newly recognized as a common condition of increasing prevalence worldwide. Clinically, Vitamin D has an established role in calcium and bone metabolism and has recently been shown to be associated with increased risk of developing type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease (CVD), as well as with cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and obesity.”
The exact molecular mechanisms that connect all the dots are still not fully understood. But the active metabolite of vitamin D regulates numerous genetic effects, obviating its connection to diabetes and other disease states.
Presently, there are no recommendations to screen for Vitamin D deficiency. But there are many known risk factors:
Lack/reduced sun exposure
Reduced Vitamin D synthesis
Medications that accelerate conversion of Vitamin D to inactive metabolites
Although Vitamin D deficiency is frequently unrecognized clinically, here at Lifetime Health and Wellness we know that laboratory measurement is easy to perform and treatment of Vitamin D deficiency is relatively well tolerated and inexpensive, the study says. Rising vitamin D deficiency and the many health-related conditions associated with it suggest the need for appropriate Vitamin D supplementation.
SOURCE: Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Obesity, April 2010 http://journals.lww.com/co-endocrinology/Fulltext/2010/04000/The_impact_of_vitamin_D_deficiency_on_diabetes_and.3.aspx