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Research Sheds Light On Why Diabetics Should Avoid Vitamin D Deficiency

October 9, 2009 by  

Research sheds light on why diabetics should avoid vitamin D deficiency Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, but the strength of the link in diabetics has always puzzled scientists who are now beginning to understand some of the reasons behind it.

The study was conducted at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and found that vitamin D deficiency causes diabetics to be unable to process cholesterol normally. The compound builds up in their veins, creating plaques and increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Dr. Carlos Bernal-Mizrachi, a Washington University endocrinologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, says the vitamin inhibits the uptake of cholesterol by cells called macrophages.

"When people are deficient in vitamin D, the macrophage cells eat more cholesterol, and they can’t get rid of it…They become what scientists call foam cells, which are one of the earliest markers of atherosclerosis," he stresses.

In addition to vitamin D, nutritional supplements containing niacin, omega-3 fatty acids and red yeast rice extract may help boost cardiovascular health by reducing LDL, also known as "bad" cholesterol, and increase the levels of healthy HDL.
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  • Blair

    May you live in interesting times.
    -Ancient Chinese proverb

  • John

    Another thing to consider is the association among diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, inflammation and vitamin D deficiency.
    Vitamin D controls chronic inflammation which is a contributing factor in the above conditions.
    See:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071106133106.htm
    http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/CoronaryArteryDisease/14824
    http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/vitamin-d-and-inflammation.html

  • Kenneth

    I am 74 years old, I have never had Flu in all my life. When I was 40 years old I started riding pushbike to work and I have never had a cold since. Vitamin D from sunlight is better than any pills.

  • John

    You are right Kenneth! Your skin exposed to 30 minutes of summer sunlight will produce 10,000 UI’s of Vitamin D, it would take over 50 glasses of Vitamin D enriched milk to get that much Vitamin D. So, get out of the house America, and enjoy the God given, vitamin rich sun. God Bless America, please.

  • Jonathan

    So can I deduce from Kenneth’s post that in Southern-hemisphere countries that diabetes-2, heart-disease (stroke and heart-attack) and the host of other diabetes-related diseases run significantly less on account of the sun-exposure? May I then use this statistical fact, if correct, to argue my point in moving South permanently as a “prophalactic” treatment for my host of illnesses related to my acquired diabetes-2 as a result of prescribed “Seroquel” taken for over seven years before the spectre of onset diabetic-neuropathy! Thanks, jonathan

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