Weight Loss With Vitamin D Brings Most Benefit to Diabetics

Chronic inflammation plays a large role in the onset and development of type 2 diabetes, but a new study suggests that weight loss in combination with vitamin D supplementation might be the best defense against disease.

Previous studies have shown weight loss to be an effective method for reducing overall inflammation levels, according to lead study author Catherine Duggan, Ph.D. Yet it was not known whether combining weight loss and vitamin D would enhance benefits for people with chronic inflammation, like diabetics.

"It’s the first study to test whether adding vitamin D augments the considerable effect of weight loss on inflammatory biomarkers,” Duggan said.

For diabetics, extra body fat - especially around the abdomen - can lead to inflammation that causes insulin resistance, but this type of chronic inflammation can also cause more deadly diseases, like cancer.

The vitamin D factor

For the study, 218 healthy, overweight women took part in a 12-month diet and exercise program. Half of the participants were also given 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day, while the other half received a placebo.

While all of the women had reduced levels of inflammation and weight loss at the end of the study, those who had the best health outcomes were the women taking vitamin D.

“We were quite surprised to see that vitamin D had an effect on an inflammation biomarker only among women who lost at least 5 percent of their baseline weight,” Duggan said. “That suggests vitamin D can augment the effect of weight loss on inflammation.”

It's possible that increased body mass can "dilute" vitamin D, Duggan said, which explains why weight loss and supplementation could help individuals reap the most benefits from the vitamin.

Guidelines about the proper dosage of vitamin D vary greatly - Duggan recommends patients speak with their physicians to determine what type of supplementation dosage is appropriate for them.

Source: Fred Hutch
Image courtesy of YaiSirichai/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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