For our readers interested in the ongoing research on vitamin D and in light of our previous post on the growing diabetes epidemic I felt that this latest news would be of interest; Researchers working at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, under the direction of Professor Anastassios Pittas, published just such a randomized controlled trial in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Their research group reported that 2,000 IU/day of vitamin D, given for 12 weeks, significantly improved pancreatic function in mildly overweight adults with pre-diabetes.
Unfortunately, the lead author, Dr. Joanna Mitri, did not comment on the low dose of vitamin D they used, 2,000 IU/day, which only increased vitamin D levels from 8 to 12 nmol/l (24-30 ng/ml). In spite of the low dose and short length of their study, they found their principal outcome, a measurement of pancreatic function, increased by 300 in the vitamin D group but fell by 126 in the placebo group.
View the abstract here:
Effects of vitamin D and calcium supplementation on pancreatic β cell function, insulin sensitivity, and glycemia in adults at high risk of diabetes: the Calcium and Vitamin D for Diabetes Mellitus (CaDDM) randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2011 ajcn.011684; First published online June 29, 2011. doi:10.3945/ajcn.111.011684