Diabetes is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease. Persons with diabetes are at greater risk for early cardiac mortality, and for repeat events if they survive their first cardiac event. Recently, low serum concentrations of vitamin D have been associated with increased risk for cardiac events. Evidence indicates that persons with diabetes have lower serum concentrations of vitamin D. In addition, persons at risk for diabetes or metabolic syndrome have inadequate serum concentrations of vitamin D. This review will assess the evidence relative to the impact of vitamin D in the development of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes complications. Studies that address vitamin D and its impact on metabolic outcomes as well as possible mechanisms of action are provided. Finally, the assessment and suggested treatment for vitamin D deficiency is addressed. Effective detection and treatment of inadequate vitamin D concentrations in persons with diabetes or those at risk for diabetes may be an easy and cost-effective therapy which could improve their long-term health outcomes as well as their quality of life.
I got to this article via this ScienceDaily piece, Vitamin D Is The ‘It’ Nutrient Of The Moment. I’ve wondered about this before, my RSS is pretty much peppered constantly by Vitamin D related literature right now. I got into this because of its possible role in the evolution of human skin color, but I’m not surprised about the diabetes connection. South Asians have really high rates of diabetes, so I’ve read a fair amount on how to prevent diabetes, and Vitamin D supplementation is in there. As it happens, South Asians at high latitudes might suffer chronic Vitamin D deficiencies due to lower radiation levels…though honestly it looks like many South Asians are fat,* so I think that’s probably a bigger population level factor right now.
* There are interpopulational differences in obesity in the United States. Some of it breaks down by race; black people are fatter than white people. Some of it by region; Southerners are fatter than Coloradans. Some by socioeconomics; poor people are fatter than rich people. As far as “Asian Americans” goes, I’m willing to bet that the majority of obese Asian Americans in the United States are South Asian. I’m not sure if we’re fatter on average than whites (I wouldn’t be surprised if we are, especially if you control for SES), but we sure are fatter than East Asians.