A study from Bulgaria shows that giving vitamin D supplements to diabetics during the winter markedly improved control of their blood sugar levels.

The majority of North Americans require sunlight to meet their needs for vitamin D because they do not meet their needs from the foods that they eat. Many people in temperate climates therefore are deficient in vitamin D by the end of winter. Lack of vitamin D impairs a person's immunity and ability to produce insulin and respond to insulin. 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, all diabetics should take vitamin D-rich foods or pills whenever they cannot get adequate exposure to sunshine. See report #D222.

The effect of vitamin D-3 on insulin secretion and peripheral insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetic patients. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 2003, Vol 57, Iss 4, pp 258-261. AM Borissova, T Tankova, G Kirilov, L Dakovska, R Kovacheva. Borissova AM, Univ Hosp, Dept Endocrinol, 6 Damjan Gruev Str, Sofia 1303, BULGARIA

Checked 8/9/05

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