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Vitamin D Deficiency May Influence Your Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Vitamin D is a steroid hormone that influences virtually every cell in your body, which is why maintaining a healthy level is so important. Low vitamin D levels are widely known to harm your bones, leading them to become thin, brittle, soft or misshapen.  But vitamin D is equally important for your heart, brain, immune function and much more. For example, there’s an important connection between insufficient vitamin D and insulin resistance and/or diabetes, both type 1 and type 2.

According to recent research, vitamin D deficiency affects your glucose metabolism and may actually be more closely linked to diabetes than obesity.

In a study of 118 people, those with low vitamin D levels were more likely to have type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome, regardless of their weight.

According to one of the study’s authors: “The study suggests that vitamin D deficiency and obesity interact synergistically to heighten the risk of diabetes and other metabolic disorders. 

It’s not the first time vitamin D has been shown to play a role in diabetes. Other research involving nearly 5,680 individuals with impaired glucose tolerance showed that vitamin D supplementation increased insulin sensitivity by 54%.

 Vitamin D Is A Must For Those On Antidepressants

Certain drugs can raise your risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. For example, statin drugs can trigger drug-induced diabetes. Both Tricyclic antidepressents (Pamelor, Elavil, Amitriptyline, Amoxapine) and SSRI antidepressants (Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Lesapro, Paxil) are linked with triggering diabetes.

Current research suggests vitamin D3 may counteract these effects. As reported by The American Journal of Managed Care.

Based on the results, researchers suggest combining antidepressants with vitamin D supplementation to “efficaciously safeguard against insulin resistance followed by type 2 diabetes.

Other Benefits of Vitamin D

Researchers have pointed out that raising levels of vitamin D among the general population could prevent chronic diseases that claim nearly 1 million lives throughout the world each year.


Incidence of several types of cancer could also be slashed in half, or more. Recent research reveals raising your serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D to 40 ng/ml can slash your risk of invasive cancers by 67 percent! Keeping your levels optimized can help prevent at least 16 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, prostate, and skin cancers.

Dr. Michael Holick — a well-known vitamin D researcher — expands on these and many other health benefits of vitamin D. For instance, optimizing your vitamin D levels can help protect against:

Cardiovascular disease

Vitamin D is very important for reducing hypertension, atherosclerotic heart disease, heart attack and stroke. According to Holick, one study showed that vitamin D deficiency increased the risk of heart attack by 50 percent.

 Autoimmune diseases

Vitamin D is a potent immune modulator, making it very important for the prevention of autoimmune diseases, like multiple sclerosis (MS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).


Vitamin D may help stimulate the production of hormones including testosterone and progesterone, and has been shown to boost fertility in both men and women.  Vitamin D is also associated with semen quality in men and may improve menstrual frequency in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

DNA repair and metabolic processes

One of Holick’s studies showed that taking 2,000 international units (IUs) of vitamin D3 per day for a few months improved DNA repair and boosted immune function.


Recent research also suggests vitamin D can play a role in migraines. Researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center found that many who suffer from migraines have deficiencies in vitamin D, riboflavin (B2) and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).

Neurological/psychological/mental disorders

Vitamin D also plays a major role in neurotransmission, and vitamin D deficiency has been associated with a number of neurological and brain disorders, including cognitive dysfunction and Alzheimer’s disease (in one study, those who were most vitamin D deficient had a 31 percent increased relative risk of suffering neuro-cognitive decline), schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, epilepsy and depression.

Cold and flu

Vitamin D has potent infection-fighting abilities, and can be beneficial for both the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis, pneumonia, colds and flu.

The Best Way to Optimize Your Vitamin D Level

There is no doubt that vitamin D is imperative for good health and disease prevention. It may even help counteract some of the deleterious metabolic effects caused of certain drugs. But there’s no lack of controversy when it comes to the issue of how to optimize your vitamin D.  However, most of the researchers specializing in vitamin D agree that sensible sun exposure is the ideal way, though.

First of all, vitamin D3 supplements do not confer the identical effects as the vitamin D your skin generates in response to UV exposure. Secondly, sun exposure has additional health benefits that are unrelated to vitamin D production.

For example, UVA exposure produces nitric oxide (NO), which lowers blood pressure and improves repair to damaged peripheral nerves.

However, unless you make a concerted effort, chances are you’re simply not getting enough sun exposure to raise your vitamin D level. As noted in a recent British study, adolescent Britons are not getting enough sun exposure even in the middle of summer to elevate their vitamin D to a healthy level, prompting the authors to suggest changes to the U.K.’s vitamin D guidelines.  The worst thing you could do is to bake in the sun for hours on end on the weekends. You definitely want to avoid burning your skin, as this will only cause skin damage that could potentially increase your risk for skin cancer.

Because of this, supplementing with vitamin D3 is crucial.  So, if sensible sun exposure is either not feasible or isn’t sufficient to raise your vitamin D to a healthy level, then taking an oral vitamin D3 supplement is a wise choice. If you decide to supplement with vitamin D please consider using one that also has vitamin K2, as it works synergistically with vitamin D to maximize the benefits.

In short, your ideal dosage is one that will help you maintain a clinically relevant vitamin D level of 50- 60 ng/ml year-round. For some this may be 2,000 IUs a day. For others, it could be 8,000 IUs a day or more.

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Vitamin D is probably one of the most talked about vitamins, today.  Doctors are even ordering vitamin D testing on labwork because it has finally been uncovered how critical its role is in preventing disease and nervous system function.

Vitamin D has been linked to a large number of neurological disorders, such as peripheral neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and the list goes on.

What has become truly amazing is that the new research has uncovered that vitamin D deficiency is directly linked to insulin resistance and ultimately Type 2 Diabetes.

The fact that this information has finally been uncovered is astounding.  More than 75% of my patients that have diabetes are deficient in vitamin D.  So it becomes abundantly clear that in order to treat any chronic illness, it’s imperative to address vitamin D levels.

If you don’t know what your vitamin D levels are, it’s time to find out.  Don’t assume because you spend a lot of time in the sun, that your levels are fine.  I’ve had several landscapers, who are outdoors, daily – all day-, show up deficient in their vitamin D levels.

To learn more about better food choices for vitamin D, visit us at:

Dr. John Coppola, D.C. and Dr. Valerie Monteiro, D.C.

This blog has been provided by Dr. John Coppola, D.C. and Dr. Valerie Monteiro, D.C. Dr. Coppola and Dr. Monteiro are the founders of the San Antonio Neuropathy Center, and Precision Sport & Spine. They are the leading experts in the field of neuropathy and specifically drug free nerve repair. They are the authors of the critically acclaimed book “Defeat Neuropathy Now …. In Spite of Your Doctor. The doctors have over 25 years of clinical experience.

If you would like to reach the doctors regarding a specific health problem, you may email them at [email protected].

  1. Rhonda Coplan says

    I’ve been taking Nuphoria Gold for 2.5 months. My neuropathy is getting worse each day. My feet are red numb, tingling and burning. A few weeks ago the numbness, tingling and burning went to my knees. Now it is up to my thighs. I am not sure what to do and scared. My doctors want to take a bunch of drugs that cause brain zaps. I am very athletic and at times hard to walk.

    Thank you for listening

  2. Lena says

    I loved your website. Thanks for the info. Your are a true asset to America.

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