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02-02-2011 | Diabetes | Article

Vitamin D-fortified yoghurt improves glycemic control in Type 2 diabetics


Free abstract

MedWire News: Consumption of vitamin D-fortified yoghurt, with or without additional calcium, improves glycemic control in patients with Type 2 diabetes, show study findings.

As reported by MedWire News, low levels of vitamin D have been linked to an increased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. In addition, other studies have suggested that supplementation with vitamin D and calcium may improve glycemic control in diabetic patients.

Tirang Neyestani (Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran) and colleagues assessed the value of consuming vitamin D in a yoghurt drink for improving glycemic control in a group of 90 individuals with Type 2 diabetes.

The researchers assigned 30 patients to consume a plain yoghurt drink (no vitamin D; 150 mg Calcium per 250 ml), 30 to consume a vitamin D-fortified yoghurt (500 IU vitamin D; 150 mg Calcium per 250 ml), and 30 to consume a vitamin D and calcium-fortified yoghurt (500 IU vitamin D; 250 mg Calcium per 250 ml), twice a day for 12 weeks.

As reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the team observed that serum vitamin D (25(OH)D3) increased by 32.8 and 28.8 nmol/l in the vitamin D and vitamin D plus calcium groups, respectively, at 12 weeks.

In the same groups, fasting serum glucose decreased by 12.9 and 9.6 mg/dl, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) by 0.4% and 0.4%, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance by 0.6 and 0.6 from baseline, over the same period.

In addition, waist circumference and body mass index were significantly reduced in the vitamin D and vitamin D plus calcium groups, by 3.6 and 2.9 cm, and 0.9 and 0.4 kg/m2, respectively, from baseline.

All of the above reductions and improvements in glycemic control were significantly greater in the two vitamin D groups than in the plain yoghurt control group. The addition of calcium to the drink did not appear to greatly influence the results.

"Our findings have potentially important public health implications, because the modest effect of vitamin D intake on anthropometric and glycemic status in individual persons translates to a dramatic effect in the population as a whole," say the authors.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Helen Albert