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Vitamin D3 supplementation and HbA1c in immigrant groups

Many people with diabetes would appear to be vitamin D deficient and this seems to have a role in the development and progression of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. What is less clear is whether giving vitamin D improves outcomes. In this recent study, vitamin D supplementation was given to healthy immigrants with low vitamin D status from South Asia, the Middle East or Africa and who were living in Norway. This supplementation did not improve HbA1c, lipid profiles, or BMI in this short-term study.

by Colin Kenny, GP, Dromore


Vitamin D deficiency is widespread among immigrants from non-Western countries in Europe. Several epidemiological studies have suggested increased risks of diabetes or impaired glucose metabolism and cardiovascular diseases among persons with low vitamin D status. In this study, 251 healthy adults aged 18–50 years were randomised to receive 16 weeks of daily oral medication with one tablet containing a 10 μg or a 25 μg dose, or with placebo. Biochemical markers including lipids and HbA1c were assessed at baseline and after 16 weeks.

Sixteen weeks of supplementation with vitamin D had no significant effect on HbA1c, fructosamine, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides or BMI. There were no significant differences between the combined intervention groups and placebo in any of the end points.  This study concurs with other systematic reviews and meta-analyses concluding that, currently, there is insufficient evidence to recommend vitamin D supplementation in order to improve glycaemia or insulin resistance in people with diabetes.

To access the full publication, click here (open access) 

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