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Vitamin D fortified yogurt may cut diabetes heart risks

2011-11-25 11:14
Vitamin D yogurt drinks improve diabetes markers of heart disease

Improving vitamin D status with yogurt drinks could improve heart risks for diabetics.

Diabetes is a known risk factor for heart disease. According to a new investigation, people living with the disease can cut their risk of having a heart attack or other cardiovascular event by eating vitamin D fortified yogurt.

Consuming yogurt regularly was shown in the study published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine to improve overall cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation in the lining of the blood vessels, known as the endothelium.

In this 12 week study, researchers from Tehran investigated the effect of vitamin D on the glycemic status, measured by inflammatory markers in the bloodstream.

They also monitored good and good and bad cholesterol levels (HDL and LDL) among study participants.

Previous studies from the National Research Institute and Faculty of Nutrition and Food Technology showed vitamin D-fortified yogurt drink could help control blood sugars for patients with diabetes.

The new study revealed vitamin D in yogurt drinks improved fasting glucose, insulin, and found some improvement in HbA1c levels that measures blood sugar control over several months.

Low levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream can lead to development of atherosclerosis - hardening of the arteries. Blood tests that include serum endothelin-1, E-Selectin and MMP-9 measurements can provide information about the health of the endothelium.

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Tirang R Neyestani, one of the authors of the study said:

"The patients who had taken the vitamin D yogurt also had improved cholesterol levels with lower total cholesterol and LDL levels and an increase in HDL.

All the improvements in cholesterol seemed to be due to the reduction in insulin resistance. The biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction, serum endothelin-1, E-Selectin and MMP-9, levels were also lower for the patients taking vitamin D."

The fortified yogurt raised levels of vitamin D to normal for diabetics in the trail, most of whom were deficient at the start of the study. Co-author of the study, Abolghassem Djazayery, explains the 5 percent of people with diabetes who remained deficient did not experience the same reduction in heart disease risks as those whose levels were boosted.

The finding suggests consuming vitamin D fortified yogurt is an easy way for people with diabetes to lower their chances of heart disease and improve cholesterol levels.

“Regular consumption of vitamin D-fortified yogurt drink (Doogh) improved endothelial biomarkers in subjects with type 2 diabetes: A randomized double-blind clinical trial”
Sakineh Shab-Bidar, et al.
BMC Medicine

Image credit: Wikimedia commons

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