What You Need to Know!
Vitamin D is indeed an essential nutrient for everyone! It is mainly known for its importance in regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which helps to keep bones, teeth, and muscles healthy, but it is especially important for people with diabetes. Vitamin D helps the body use insulin more effectively and regulate both blood sugar levels and cholesterol. For those living with diabetes, the health benefits of vitamin D are very important.
Recent research has shown that people with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to be deficient in vitamin D as those without it. Vitamin D plays an important role in how the body processes glucose. Vitamin D helps the body’s cells absorb glucose more efficiently, which can help to keep blood sugar levels stable. Higher levels of vitamin D in the body can also help to activate enzymes that improve insulin sensitivity. This can help the body better process glucose and in turn reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes has also been shown to affect the body’s ability to absorb and utilize vitamin D, which can lead to serious health complications. Having adequate levels of vitamin D can also help protect against cardiovascular disease and other diabetes-related complications.
Studies have found that those with type 1 diabetes were able to reduce their hemoglobin A1C level, an important measure of blood sugar control, when their vitamin D levels were increased. This is likely due to vitamin D’s ability to enhance the body’s ability to use insulin.
What Can You do?
While exposure to sunlight can help produce the necessary vitamin D the body requires, eating a balanced diet or taking a supplement may be necessary to reach adequate levels of this essential nutrient. Those with diabetes should not only get outside as often as possible but also include foods high in vitamin D, such as fish, mushrooms, and dairy products which can also help supplement vitamin D levels. It’s important to note that too much vitamin D can be just as damaging as too little. Before you start taking a supplement, it’s essential that you speak with your healthcare provider to make sure that a supplement is right for you.
Keep This In Mind
Furthermore, there is evidence that vitamin D can help reduce inflammation, which is an important factor in diabetes management. Inflammation is a key component in the development of many of the complications associated with diabetes, including cardiovascular disease and neuropathy.
At the end of the day, everyone’s vitamin D needs are different. A healthcare provider can help you identify ways to ensure that your levels stay balanced and optimal for your level of health and fitness. By being proactive about your own health, you can take steps toward protecting yourself from diabetes-related complications and ensuring good overall health!
Johane M. Filemon
Johane M. Filemon, MS, RDN, CLT is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and media contributor with over 15 years of experience in the field of Nutrition. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Exercise Science and Dietetics, and a master’s degree in Food and Nutrition Science. Her practice Wonderfully Nutritious Solutions is focused on helping others reverse chronic inflammation by utilizing functional and holistic nutrition. She believes that a healthy lifestyle should be inclusive of culture and not one-size-fits-all. She is the mother of 5 young boys whom she loves teaching how to create delicious meals in the kitchen.