Vitamin D associated with 15 pct reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes

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Taking vitamin D supplements by prediabetic individuals has been associated with a 15 percent reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a recent review has shown.

Doctors in the UAE weighed in on the topic with one saying he may prescribe a higher dose of vitamin D to patients at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and others highlighting the importance of keeping vitamin D levels in check.

“This study will have an impact on my clinical practice,” Dr Bashar Sahar, an endocrinologist at the Saudi German Hospital in Dubai told Al Arabiya English.

“I will now consider giving a higher dose of daily Vitamin D to patients with prediabetes,” he added.

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Prediabetes relates to people with elevated blood sugar levels who are at a high risk of developing diabetes.

Ashwin Pankajakshan, endocrinologist at NMC Royal Hospital Dubai, told Al Arabiya English the study shows that doctors must “give importance to vitamin D levels” in treating patients at risk of diabetes.

“With this data we are going to ask patients with prediabetes to have their blood levels checked so we can keep their vitamin D at the optimal level,” he said.

Dr Naji Jameel Aljohani, consultant endocrinologist at King Fahad Medical City in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh told Al Arabiya English this advice is important for adults as well as children and can “improve insulin resistance,” something that is vital to prevent diabetes.

He also noted that the best time for people to absorb the vitamin naturally is to go out in the sunshine between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Pankajakshan also highlighted the need to properly consult a doctor, so people make sure they are taking the correct vitamin D dosage.

“Vitamin D is safe when it is taken in the appropriate way but if someone overdoses, it can lead to problems,” Pankajakshan said.

The main consequence of vitamin D toxicity is a buildup of calcium in the bloodstream which can lead to nausea and vomiting and in the long-term could lead to kidney problems.

Diet and healthy lifestyle are equally important.

“Vitamin D helps in preventing diabetes, but we have to make sure we’re following a healthy lifestyle [and] eating the right foods,” Hanan Ibrahim Khatib, clinical dietitian, and nutritionist at Al Sharq Hospital in Fujairah told Al Arabiya English.

Khatib added that she advises her patients to get enough vitamin D via natural sources including sunlight, cod liver oil, mushrooms and egg yolks.

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