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Vitamin D boosts mood and more for women with type 2 diabetes

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Vitamin D boosts mood, lowers blood pressure for women with diabetes

A small study shows adequate vitamin D levels might be especially important for women with type-2 diabetes for 3 reasons.

Mood gets a lift when vitamin D levels higher

The finding that comes from researchers at Loyola University Chicago Niehoff School of Nursing and presented at the American Diabetes Association 73rd Scientific Sessions in Chicago, found the so-called sunshine vitamin can improve mood and blood pressure and seems to aid weight loss at the same time.

Researchers enrolled 46 women diagnosed with type-2 diabetes for an average of 8 years and who had insufficient levels of the vitamin were given a weekly supplement of .50,000 International Units. The recommended daily allowance for the age group is 600 IU per day. Women in the study were average age of 55.

After six-months, when the women’s vitamin D levels reached average 38 ng/ml, their mood had improved significantly, based on a 20-question depression survey.

At the beginning of the study, vitamin D levels were average of18 ng/m

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Women with diabetes have more complications than men

The finding is important because women with type-2 diabetes often have worse outcomes than men, the authors say; primarily from depression that can interfere with healthy behaviors needed to control the disease.

Vitamin D might also help control type 2 diabetes. Insufficient levels are linked to higher risk of developing the disease.

Risks for low vitamin D include:

  • Lack of sunshine that can easily happen during winter months
  • Aging
  • Obesity
  • Problems with absorption in the colon, dark skin
  • Low intake of dairy products
  • Dark skin
  • Vegetarian diet

Ask your doctor for a blood test that can be easily measured if you think you may be at risk.

Boosting vitamin D levels also improved blood pressure in the women studied. Systolic or the top number was lower by approximately 8 points. The study found women whose upper blood pressure number was 140 was lowered to an average of 132, in keeping with guidelines for diabetes blood pressure control that can prevent kidney, eye and vascular complications associated with the disease.

The finding adds to a growing body of evidence showing the importance of maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D. The new study shows getting enough of the so-called sunshine vitamin may be especially important for boosting mood, helping to maintain blood pressure control and weight management for women with diabetes.