Vitamin D supplementation may reduce both depression and pain in women with type 2 diabetes, according to new research by the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. The researchers presented their findings at a research conference at Loyola’s Health Sciences Campus.
The investigators set out to determine how vitamin D supplementation might affect women with type 2 diabetes who were also suffering from depression.
At the beginning of the study, 61 percent of women reported neuropathic pain, such as shooting or burning pain in their legs and feet, and 74 percent had sensory pain, such as numbness and tingling in their hands, fingers and legs.
During the course of the study, the participants took a 50,000 IU vitamin D2 supplement every week for 6 months. By the end of the study, the women’s depression levels had significantly improved following the supplementation.
Furthermore, participants who suffered from neuropathic and/or sensory pain at the beginning of the study reported that these symptoms decreased at 3 and 6 months following vitamin D2 supplementation.
“Pain is a common and often serious problem for women with type 2 diabetes and depression. While further research is needed, D2 supplementation is a promising treatment for both pain and depression in type 2 diabetes,” said lead researcher Todd Doyle, Ph.D.
The research team adds that they have just received funding from the National Institute of Nursing Research which will enable them to conduct a trial to determine whether two different doses of vitamin D3 supplements affect the health outcomes of women with type 2 diabetes.
“Vitamin D has widespread benefits for our health and certain chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes,” said Sue Penckofer, Ph.D., co-author of the study and professor at the Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing.
“This NIH grant will allow us to shed greater light on understanding the role that this nutrient plays in managing the health of women with diabetes.”
Vitamin D has many important functions in the body, such as regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which are needed to maintain bone and teeth health.
The investigators note that up until now, no other study has determined how vitamin D supplementation may play a role in the association of pain and depression with type 2 diabetes.
Source: Loyola University Chicago