Vitamin D isn’t the first thing that a doctor might recommend after a diabetes diagnosis, but research proves that it may actually help some people living with diabetes to lower fasting blood glucose (FBG) and HbA1c levels (the blood sugar level attached to hemoglobin, averaged over a 3-month period).
Why are FBG and HbA1c levels important?
Both HbA1c and FBG are markers that help indicate how well certain methods of managing diabetes are working. HbA1c (or just A1c for short) gives an indication of the average blood sugar levels over the past few months while FBG gives a more immediate picture of whether or not blood sugar levels are in range. The test for HbA1C is “the most important laboratory parameter indicating glycemic control,” according to researchers.
“Vitamin D supplementation could be effective at improving glycemic control in vitamin D deficient or non-obese type 2 diabetes patients.” ~researchers Wu, Qiu, Zhu, and Li, Metabolism
Researchers recently did a metastudy on papers linking vitamin D supplementation with diabetes management. A metastudy is when a large number of studies (42 in this case) are collected and sifted through to see how relevant and correct they are. In this case, the researchers were able to demonstrate that patients with type 2 diabetes and a vitamin D deficiency definitely saw a decrease in A1c and FBG levels when supplementing with vitamin D – which is great news for many people with T2 diabetes.
The key part of the study is that it only really affects people with a vitamin D deficiency. This means that even though low levels of Vitamin D are associated with having diabetes, you may not see improvement in your blood sugar levels by supplementing with Vitamin D unless you are truly deficient.
What is Vitamin D Anyway?
Vitamin D is – you guessed it – a vitamin that’s essential for our bodies to function. The main function of vitamin D is to help your body absorb calcium, which helps build up strong bones. The vitamin also plays a huge role in creating muscle, nerves, and ensuring a properly functioning immune system. In addition to lowering A1c and FBG levels in vitamin D deficient people with diabetes, vitamin D has a whole range of positive effects. These include boosting the immune system, reducing depression, and possibly even helping with weight loss.