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Will any vitamins or minerals help to control diabetes?

Lack of vitamin D impairs a person’s immunity and ability to produce insulin and respond to insulin. A study from Bulgaria shows that giving vitamin D supplements to diabetics during the winter markedly improved control of their blood sugar levels (International Journal of Clinical Practice, Volume 57, Issue 4, 2003).

Most people require sunlight to meet their needs for vitamin D because it is very difficult to get enough from food. This means that many people in the northern latitudes are deficient in vitamin D by the end of winter, particularly people with dark skin. This study shows that giving vitamin D pills to Type 2 diabetics during the winter improved control of blood sugar levels by increasing the first response of insulin from the pancreas to a rise in blood sugar, and by improving cell response to insulin. If this study can be confirmed, doctors will recommend that diabetics take vitamin D supplements whenever they cannot get adequate exposure to sunshine.

More on controlling diabetes

May 1, 2006

May 16th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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