Vitamin D suitable as a therapeutic supplement for metabolic disorders
Austrian researchers have found that women suffering from a specific metabolic disorder can be helped with vitamin D supplements. In their study, the scientists have demonstrated the beneficial effects of vitamin D on blood glucose levels.
Meaningful vitamin D supplementation
Especially in the dark season is often resorted to vitamin D supplements to provide itself with the so-called "sun vitamin". According to experts, however, such preparations are not advisable for all people. For women who suffer from a specific metabolic disorder, but vitamin D supplementation is highly recommended, as researchers from Austria have now found out. They have demonstrated the beneficial effect of vitamin D on the blood glucose levels of patients with hormonal disorders.
One of the most common hormonal disorders
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common hormonal disorders that is often the cause of cycle disorders, including infertility.
Typical for the PCOS, for example, are a dark down on the upper lip, broad, thick eyebrows, a pubic hair that stretches down to the thighs and in a wide strip to the belly button and dark hair on the calves, writes the professional association of gynecologists (BVF ) in a message.
Characteristic of the metabolic disorder are enlarged ovaries with a number of small follicles, as explained in an article by "scilog" – the magazine of the Austrian Science Fund FWF.
Therefore, many therapies often (only) consider the aspect of unfulfilled desire for children.
Increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes
But the health consequences are more extensive. Thus, an increased risk of cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes is considered proven, with the adverse effect on metabolic parameters such as blood glucose and insulin associated with the higher testosterone levels of the patients.
In addition, vitamin D deficiency is a common side effect.
According to Elisabeth Lerchbaum, internist at the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetology of the Medical University of Graz, this is present in about 80 to 85 percent of the patients.
In the case of her at the clinic, in the case of a vitamin D deficiency, the women now receive a medically guaranteed dose of vitamin D in addition to the standard therapy.
It remains under observation how the vitamin D level develops. The administration of vitamin D in a study funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF had a positive effect on the blood sugar levels in patients.
"At the University Department of Internal Medicine, we routinely measure vitamin D levels among those affected. This measure is the implementation of the results of our study on the effects of vitamin D supplementation, "says Lerchbaum.
Vitamin D lowers blood sugar levels
In the study, published in the journal "European Journal of Nutrition," 180 women and 150 women without PCOS took vitamin D once a week for six months.
What they all had in common was that they had a vitamin D deficiency at baseline. In the patients with PCOS, the additional intake of the vitamin had a positive effect on the blood sugar values after just a short time:
"Fasting blood glucose is a risk marker for precursors of diabetes. We also simulated the increase in blood glucose after a normal meal with sugar water, "said the doctor.
The latter makes even earlier precursors of type 2 diabetes recognizable. This is important because early forms of metabolic problems, such as mildly elevated blood sugar levels or increased insulin levels, often occur early in a PCOS.
If this development can be influenced, it can lower the risk of metabolic diseases.
What surprised the researchers: In the healthy study participants, the intake of vitamin D had an adverse effect on the blood sugar level.
Prevent the development of metabolic diseases
According to the information, the problem with the disease changes in the course of life: In women in the early 20, therefore, usually cycle disorders or hormone-related problems with skin and hair are paramount.
"You have hardly any complaints. Later, the unfulfilled desire to have a baby can become a problem. From around the beginning of 40, metabolic problems will come to the fore, "said Lerchbaum.
At the University Department of Internal Medicine, where Lerchbaum works, the aspects of nutrition, fitness and lifestyle have long been used in the treatment of PCOS. This should help prevent the development of metabolic diseases.
However, the more pronounced metabolic problems such as obesity or obesity are, and the more that has been done in vain, the more difficult it will be to implement a healthier lifestyle.
In addition, for example, a heavy weight loss has an adverse effect on muscle mass and bone density. Vitamin D could keep both in check, especially in combination with calcium.
"Our dosage is safe, inexpensive, has no side effects, is easy to use and supports the success of treatment at all stages," said the doctor.
This is important for those affected, because the usual – often hormonal – therapies are not to be underestimated because of the side effects, the high expenditure of time and the mental stress.
Vitamin D levels are related to genetic predisposition
The aim of the measure is to achieve the optimal vitamin D level.
The study also showed that individual vitamin D levels are linked to genetic predisposition – but the methods of genetically identifying them are still too costly to use in clinical routine.
But there is a lot of potential here because it could be used to determine the individual optimum and the right dosage. As far as the latter is concerned, the internist advises that vitamin D should not be consumed without first determining the level of the mirror.
Often an overdose is the result. In addition, according to the FWF study, this "extra" vitamin D in healthy people even has a rather unfavorable effect on metabolic parameters.
On the safe side is who can determine his level, in the case of a vitamin D deficiency takes a targeted dose and controls the vitamin D levels after a few months.
At any rate, it is clear today that in women who have PCOS and are deficient in vitamin D, supplementing therapy with properly dosed vitamin D supplements has a positive effect on blood glucose levels – and is easy to implement.
By observing the study participants for longer periods, the research team also wants to find out whether this measure can actually "delay or even prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes". (Ad)