Context: Vitamin D deficiency is associated with insulin resistance and risk of future diabetes.
Objective: The objective of the study was to test whether supplementation with vitamin D to subjects with prediabetes will prevent progression to type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Design: This was a randomized controlled trial performed in 2008 through 2015.
Setting: The study was conducted at the clinical research unit at a teaching hospital.
Patients: Five hundred eleven subjects (mean age 62 y, 314 males) with prediabetes diagnosed with an oral glucose tolerance test as part of the Tromsø Study 2007–2008 were included. A total of 256 were randomized to vitamin D and 255 to placebo. Twenty-nine subjects in the vitamin D and 24 in the placebo group withdrew because of adverse events.
Interventions: Interventions included vitamin D (cholecalciferol) 20 000 IU/wk vs placebo for 5 years. Annual oral glucose tolerance tests were performed.
Main outcome measure: Progression to T2DM was the main outcome measure. Secondary outcomes were change in glucose levels, insulin resistance, serum lipids, and blood pressure.
Results: The mean baseline serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level was 60 nmol/L (24 ng/mL). One hundred three in the vitamin D and 112 in the placebo group developed T2DM (hazard risk 0.90; 95% confidence interval 0.69–1.18, Cox regression, P = .45, intention to treat analysis). No consistent significant effects on the other outcomes were seen. Subgroup analyses in subjects with low baseline 25-hydroxyvitamin D yielded similar results. No serious side effects related to the intervention were recorded.
Conclusions: In subjects without vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D supplementation is unlikely to prevent progression from prediabetes to diabetes. Very large studies with inclusion of vitamin D-deficient subjects will probably be needed to show such a putative effect. This study tested if supplementation with vitamin D to subjects with prediabetes will prevent progression to type 2 diabetes (T2DM).
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00685594.