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The Link Between Diabetes Mellitus and Vitamin D: What You Need to Know

The link between Diabetes Mellitus and vitamin D: What you need to know
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Vitamin D is essential for bone health and a healthy immune system.In addition to being produced by the sun, vitamin D can also be acquired through diet and supplementation. Vitamin D is found in foods such as mushroom, fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified dairy products. The concern is that low levels of vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine” vitamin are all common, especially among older adults and people who work or stay indoors most of the sunny hours. Insufficiency and deficiency of vitamin D are recognized as global health problems worldwide and not just in Indian metro cities.

Link between the D’s Diabetes and Vitamin D

As per ET Health 3 out of 4 have vitamin D deficiency. There are There are three main types of diabetes;

  • Type 1 diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes

  • Type 2 Diabetes or adult onset diabetes

  • Gestational Diabetes


Several studies have shown a potential link between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

A study done with 100 participants found that taking a vitamin D supplement could possibly reduce insulin resistance in Type 2 diabetes. Whereas, in a reverse study of 120 participants found that vitamin D levels were lower for people with Type 2 diabetes and that people who take vitamin D supplements may have improved glucose management. Hence several studies shown that higher levels of vitamin D to be associated with a lower risk of developing Type 1 diabetes.

Though the exact mechanism is not known yet some researchers believe that vitamin D plays a role in the production and secretion of insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. Hence vitamin D affects glucose metabolism. Whereas some other researchers suggest that vitamin D may help improve a person’s insulin sensitivity, allowing the body to use insulin more effectually.

Vitamin D insufficiency has been related to several health issues, including an increased chance of developing type 2 diabetes. These complications can be especially challenging for diabetics. These include:

  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

  • Poor bone and joint health. Did you know that to absorb calcium, you need vitamin D? This can be especially problematic for older adults with diabetes, who are already at increased risk of falls and fractures. Read here how elderly folks ca get enough calcium and vitamin D3 for better bone and joint health.

  • Depression is one of the outcomes of vitamin D deficiency. It is seen in diabetics and also in the case of non-diabetic patients. Hence, each one of us should seriously be concerned about getting enough vitamin D.

Role of Vitamin D in using Insulin

Another study found that higher vitamin D levels were associated with a lower risk of insulin resistance, which occurs when the body is unable to respond to or use the insulin it produces. Researchers discovered that the risk of developing insulin resistance decreased with each extra dose of vitamin D supplement consumed. Researchers believe that vitamin D3 may play a protective role in the development of insulin resistance because it reduces inflammation, and inflammation increases the likelihood of insulin resistance.

How to Ensure You're Getting Enough Vitamin D

As a diabetic, the first step recommended is to talk to your doctor about your vitamin D status. Taking vitamin D from food and sunshine is obviously safe, however, everyone can’t get it done; hence, they can go for vitamin D supplements, which are safe too. However, you need to be careful about the brand and component details.


Generally, in the case of vitamin D deficiency , your doctor may recommend supplements. The recommended daily vitamin D intake varies by age and other factors, but most people need at least 600-800 IU per day. Your healthcare professional can help you determine the best vitamin D dose for you.In addition to tablets, there are many more ways to increase your vitamin D levels through diet and lifestyle. Here are a few tips:


Get regular exposure to sunlight: Vitamin D is made on skin when it is exposed to sunlight. Hence it is also considered as a hormone. Try to get at least 15-20 minutes of sun exposure on your skin every day. In India, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., depending on your location and amount of availability to direct sunlight, is the ideal time to get vitamin D from the sun. However, it's important to protect your skin and prevent sunburn with sunscreen lotion. Also, you need to see factors like your skin sensitivity and the weather condition.


Vitamin D-rich foods: Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, and tuna, as well as foods like milk, orange juice, egg yolks, and cereal are some of the best dietary sources of vitamin D.

Go for a walk or workout: Exercise helps raise your vitamin D levels in addition to being beneficial to your general health. On most days of the week, try to get in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, like brisk walking.

Think about taking a supplement: A supplement could be beneficial if your diet and sun exposure aren't producing enough vitamin D for you. To find out the appropriate dosage for you, consult a nutritionist or your doctor.


Foot ulcer and gangrene foot are nightmare for diabetics. Here the question is how Vitamin D Helps to avoid foot ulcers A recent study found that elderly persons with diabetes who have low vitamin D levels are more likely to develop foot ulcers. The study was the first to measure vitamin D levels in persons hospitalized with diabetic foot ulcers. Vitamin D levels decreased steadily as the ulcer's severity increased. In fact, persons with the most favorable foot ulcer (the least severe on the grading scale) had vitamin D levels that were more than twice as high as those with the worst stage or grade of ulcer.

More studies are needed to understand the relationship between vitamin D and insulin activity and whether it’s different for certain groups of patients. However, we all know the importance of having enough vitamin D for several bodily functions and benefits. Shine with sunshine vitamin.



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