Vitamin D can decrease blood sugar and lower weight, study finds

Vitamin D receptors in the part of the brain that controls weight and glucose could explain why supplementation with this key nutrient can lower blood sugar and help regulate weight, a study reports.

According to Dr. Stephanie Sisley, lead study investigator and assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, vitamin D might play a role in the onset of type 2 diabetes and obesity because of how it acts on the brain.

"Vitamin D deficiency occurs often in obese people and in patients with Type 2 diabetes, yet no one understands if it contributes to these diseases," Sisley said. "The brain is the master regulator of weight."

Vitamin D tested on male rats

For the study, researchers delivered vitamin D directly to the hypothalamus' of obese male rats. Compared with control rats, those that had received vitamin D showed better glucose tolerance and decreased glucose created by the liver.

In a separate experiment, rats that had received vitamin D ate less food and lost more weight than the control group that hadn't received the vitamin. Neither groups changed the way they burned calories.

"Vitamin D is never going to be the silver bullet for weight loss, but it may work in combination with strategies we know work, like diet and exercise," Sisley concluded.

Source: Endocrine Society

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