Nutritional Fundamentals for Health

 
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Vitamin D3 Supplementation Improves Diabetic Nephropathy: New Findings

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Diabetic nephropathy is regarded as an independent risk factor in the progression of renal and cardiovascular disorders and is linked to vitamin D deficiency. It has been well documented that inflammation is a major factor in diabetic nephropathy progression. Previous research evidence suggests that vitamin D can promote pancreatic beta-cell survival by affecting the influences of cytokines and nuclear transcription factors such as NF-kB which play a critical role in proinflammatory signaling pathway. In this recent randomized double-blind placebo controlled clinical study, the effects of Vitamin D3 supplementation on metabolic and inflammatory parameters in patients with diabetic nephropathy were examined.[1]

In this eight-week, controlled trial conducted in 50 diabetic nephropathy patients with marginal status of vitamin D, participants were randomly assigned to two groups: control and intervention (administered 50000 IU vitamin D3 supplement weekly on a specific day).

Vitamin D3 supplemented group showed significantly lower levels of fasting blood sugar (FBS), insulin, HOMA-IR, TNF-alpha and IL-6 following supplementation, whereas no changes were observed in the placebo group.

Commentary: Given the evident association between HOMA-IR, FBS blood levels and vitamin D supplementation in metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, this clinical study corroborates the role of Vitamin D3 supplementation in alleviating diabetic nephropathy symptoms. More long-term studies with large sample sizes are warranted to confirm the findings of this clinical study. Nevertheless, it can be surmised that vitamin D supplementation can be regarded as an effective way to prevent the progression of diabetic nephropathy by reducing inflammatory markers and improving FBS. 

Reference:
1. Esfandiari A., et al. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2019 Jan - Feb;13(1):278-283.