Home  |  Maps & directions  |  Find a doctor  |  Contact us  |  Classes & programs  |  Jobs  |  Baby gallery  |  Pay bill  |  Employees | Physicians

More about
nutrition and diabetes


Patricia  House

More energy after treatment for atrial fibrillation

Increase Text Size Reduce Text Size Reset Text Size to Default

Vitamin D and Diabetes: What's the Connection?

A glass of milk, yogurt with raspberries and cheese wedges.

Dairy products are the best source of vitamin D.

Vitamin D deficiency has long been known as a contributing factor to osteoporosis and the risk of bone fractures.  But more recently, vitamin D deficiency is also being linked to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancer, immune and autoimmune diseases, diabetes and insulin resistance.  

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin found in some foods and it is also synthesized when ultraviolet sun rays reach the skin surface. A deficiency may be due to lack of sun exposure, inadequate diet (dietary sources of vitamin D are limited), impaired absorption, increased excretion or aging.  Elderly Americans, which includes many patients with Type 2 diabetes, are at risk of developing vitamin D insufficiency. As people age, the skin becomes less efficient at synthesizing vitamin D from sunlight, and the liver and kidney may have decreased ability to convert vitamin D into the active form. 

More and more research is giving us insight into the importance of testing for vitamin D level and addressing deficiencies with supplementation. Adequate vitamin D levels may prevent or delay the onset of diabetes, improve blood sugar control and reduce the serious complications for those who have already been diagnosed.

On November 30, 2010 a new report was issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), showing for various age groups the recommendations for Adequate Intake (AI), Estimated Average Requirement (EAR), Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) and Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL).

The IOM’s recommendations are summarized below:

Age

Daily Vitamin D, in IUs

 

AI

EAR

RDA

UL

0-6 Mths

400

-

-

1000

6-12 Mths

400

-

-

1500

1-3 Yrs

-

400

600

2500

4-8 Yrs

-

400

600

3000

9-69 Yrs

-

400

600

4000

> 70 Yrs

-

400

800

4000

Talk with your doctor about having your vitamin D level tested or about your results at your next office visit.  Also discuss his recommendations for supplementation.                

Dietary sources of vitamin D are limited.  Click here for a list of foods and their vitamin D content. Compare the amount of vitamin D to your needs, outlined in the table above. You may want to see a dietitian if you think your intake of vitamin D is inadequate or you need help incorporating more vitamin D-containing foods into your diet.

Additional resources on vitamin D:

More information on vitamin D 

http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamind

Back to top


St. Anthony's Medical Center logo

For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.

Working as trusted partners, the physicians and employees of St. Anthony's Health System will deliver care distinguished by its demonstrated quality and personalized service. We will be visibly engaged in improving the health and well­ being of the communities we serve in South County and beyond. We will stand together, proud to set the standard for independent community health systems.