Vitamin D use has increased dramatically in the United States in the past 15 years and has been credited with reducing the risk of developing multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and even type 2 diabetes. But many of the claims have yet to be substantiated through research. That is, until now. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it would be conducting studies to determine whether vitamin D can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in adults at risk for developing the disease.
“We need rigorous testing to determine if vitamin D will help prevent diabetes,” said Myrlene Staten, project officer with NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
The multiyear study will involve about 2,500 adults 30 years of age or older who have prediabetes or are at high risk of developing the disease. The trial will examine if daily doses of 4,000 International United (IUs, 100mcg) of vitamin D – which is greater than the typical adult intake of 600 to 800 IUs (15 to 20 mcg) a day, but within limits deemed appropriate for clinical research – helps keep people from developing type 2 diabetes.
Half of the study participants will receive the mega dose of vitamin D while the other half will receive a placebo. All participants will have checkups twice a year and will receive regular health care through their own doctors.
The study will be double-blinded, meaning neither the participants nor the study’s clinical staff will know which participants were given the vitamin D and which were given the placebo. The study will continue until enough people have developed type 2 diabetes so that researchers can make a valid scientific observation.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease. Almost all patients require medication to keep their blood levels at normal levels. Many medications to treat the condition carry dangerous side effects.
For example, in 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that the drug Actos had been linked in studies to an increased risk of bladder cancer. Earlier this year, new studies showed the drugs Januvia and Byetta increased the risk for pancreas problems including acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.
Source: News XinHaunet