A low level of vitamin D in teenagers and young adults who have type 2 diabetes puts them at risk for arterial stiffness, which forces the heart to beat harder to pump blood. A study at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center looked back at a study of adolescents that included patients with the condition, patients who did not have diabetes but were obese, and patients without diabetes with normal body weight. Participants with diabetes showed significantly more arterial stiffness. Adding Vitamin D to treatment regimes may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Other research has shown that spending a few minutes in the sun every day might reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and improve symptoms for those who’ve already been diagnosed with it. In another study, doctors pooled data from 21 different studies with more than 75,000 participants and found that those who had higher levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in their blood were less likely to have Type 2 diabetes. The study appeared in the American Diabetes Association journal Diabetes Care.
In another study, Vitamin D was shown to have a wide range of health benefits for women already diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. The study at the Loyola University Chicago Niehoff School of Nursing assessed 46 women with type 2 who had low levels of vitamin D, and found that symptoms of depression and high blood pressure both saw improvement with vitamin D supplements. Participants were also able to drop a few pounds.
Foods that are high in Vitamin D include shiitake and button mushrooms, eggs and a range of fish including mackerel, sockeye salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, and catfish.