It's just another brick in the endocrine wall toward proof that "vitamin D" has fewer vitamin powers than it does hormonal ones.
Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is evidence that this super-vitamin can help obese children and adolescents control their blood sugars, potentially warding off Type 2 diabetes.
How? Glad you asked.
Obesity is a two-fold risk for Type 2 diabetes, contributing to both high levels of glucose in blood (which is damaging to tissues over time) and increased insulin resistance (which hinders the body's ability to decrease the sugar circulating in blood.)
After studying 35 pre-diabetic, obese children and adolescents who either took high-dose vitamin D supplements or placebo (sugar pill) for six months, the amount of circulating glucose was significantly decreased--with a decrease in circulating insulin as a result--without any changes in body weight or physical activity…meaning the vitamin D did that work all by itself.
Even the researchers state that this high level of vitamin D isn't for everyone.
The recommended vitamin D supplement for individuals ages 1-70 is 600 IU per day, but the individuals in this study received about double that. Vitamin D--along with its cohorts vitamins A, E and K--are members of the fat-soluble vitamin clan, or the type which can accumulate to toxic levels. While the risk is less for the population in this study given obese individuals can only process vitamin D at about half the normal rate, supplementation of this type is not considered safe for the general population.
While the final word on the significance of this sort of treatment has yet to be seen, checking a vitamin D level on obese children and adolescents might be a great way to broaden the patient picture.