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

Get our newsletter