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New Study Investigates the Effect of High-dose Vitamin D Supplementation in Patients with Diabetic Neuropathy

vitamin d diabetes

Low levels of Vitamin D associated with increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes affects more than 30 million individuals, and the youth account for 20% to 50% of new-onset diabetes cases. Previous research has demonstrated that low levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Vitamin D has been shown to play a role in reducing inflammation and inhibiting β-cell destruction.

Researchers investigate the effect of high-dose vitamin D supplementation in patients with type 2 diabetes

According to a new study 2 weeks ago in Nutrients, researchers investigated the effect of high-dose vitamin D supplementation on microcirculation, inflammatory markers, and peripheral neuropathy symptoms in patients with type 2 diabetes. This study included 67 patients with type 2 diabetes and peripheral neuropathy. The research team investigated the effect of different doses of vitamin D supplementation on microcirculation, neuropathy symptoms, and inflammatory markers in patients with type 2 diabetes. Each patient was given either 5,000 IU or 40,000 IU once a week for a 24-week period. Neuropathy assessment included neuropathic symptomatic score, neuropathic disability score, and visual analogue scale. Cutaneous microcirculation was assessed by laser Doppler flowmetry. Laboratory assessment included total cholesterol, C-reactive protein, HA1c, vitamin D 25-hydroxy, parathyroid hormone, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-10, and tumour necrosis factor-α. These were assessed at baseline and after treatment.

Significant improvements found in patients treated with high-doses of vitamin D supplementation

A vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency was identified in 78% of the patients. As a result, vitamin D supplementation at 40,000 IU once a week demonstrated a significant decrease in neuropathy severity and an improvement of cutaneous microcirculation. In addition, there was a reduction in IL-6 levels and an increase in IL-10 levels. No changes were shown in patients that received vitamin D supplementation at 5,000 IU once per week.

This study demonstrated that high-dose vitamin D supplementation can reduce inflammation and improve microcirculation and neuropathy symptoms in patients with type 2 diabetes.

The importance of maintaining adequate levels of all fat-soluble vitamins

It is important to take vitamin K along with vitamin D to prevent arterial calcification. It is also essential to maintain adequate levels of all the fat-soluble vitamins, as evidenced by ever-increasing research that demonstrates their intricate interrelationships with other nutrients. All chronic conditions are multifactorial, and many times the need for vitamin D supplementation is part of that picture. Other nutrients that can support neuropathy symptoms include benfotiamine, folate, cobalamin, pyridoxal-5-phosphate, acetyl-L-carnitine, and lipoic acid.


By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS

Source: Karonova T, Stepanova A, et al. High-dose vitamin D supplementation improves microcirculation and reduces inflammation in diabetic neuropathy patients. Nutrients. 2020;12(9):2518. doi:10.3390/nu1209518.