Vitamin D & Me: The Diabetes Connection

November 9, 2015 4:25 pm
Blog Vit D

Everyone needs their daily dose of vitamin D, including those at risk of developing and living with diabetes. Several scientific studies have shown a connection with low levels of vitamin D and T1 and T2 diabetes. One study even suggests that there is a higher correlation between vitamin D deficiency and diabetes than compared to the link between diabetes and obesity.[i]

So what does Vitamin D do for you? Also known as the sunshine vitamin, it plays an important role in the overall function of other vitamin absorption, most notably calcium which is essential for bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis. It also regulates cell growth and neuromuscular and immune function. [ii] The best way to get your daily dose of the “D” is to spend some time in the sun (don’t forget the sunscreen – although this lessens the amount of vitamin D produced). Our bodies produce vitamin D when our skin is exposed to the sun and is then processed through our livers and kidneys in a form that can be used.[iii]

Scientists believe that connection between vitamin D and diabetes is linked to the vitamin’s ability to constrain an autoimmune response to the beta cells of the pancreas. In one study, children who received vitamin D supplements were less likely to develop T1 diabetes.[iv] For some people at risk of developing T2 diabetes, higher levels of D vitamin may improve insulin sensitivity, which reduces the risk of becoming insulin resistant.

Health benefits of vitamin D include:

  • Strong bones and teeth through improved calcium absorption
  • Promotes weight loss and controls hunger
  • Decreased abdominal fat
  • Improved insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control[v]
  • Decreased risk of developing heart disease
  • Improved mood (Vitamin D deficiency is linked to SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder)[vi]

All you need is a 10-minute dose of sunshine, but if you can’t find the time or location to catch some sunrays, vitamin D can be found in supplement form or in foods like salmon, swordfish, milk and other dairy products fortified with vitamin D. Surprisingly, vitamin D is one of those nutrients that cannot be found in many foods since it is best absorbed by the skin and less so by the stomach. According to the US National Institutes of Health, the recommended adult daily dose of Vitamin D is 600IU and increases after age 70.

So go and take your Dario out for a stroll and soak up the sun! The compact Dario Smart Meter fits right in your pocket and connects to your phone, so there is no need to carry a bag or purse as you freely stroll down the street to work on your Vitamin D (plus the added calorie burn.) If you plan to stay out for a long time or go for a longer walk, make sure that you take pre and post BG measurements with your Dario. Vitamin “D”ario helps you better manage your diabetes.