Background: The discovery of vitamin D is one of medicine's great achievements. Despite all the positive evidence emerging about the beneficial effect of vitamin D, we still find many are vitamin D deficient. The purposes of this study were to examine the association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, to test the hypothesis that lower 25(OH)D levels are associated with poorer glucose control in diabetes mellitus (DM) patients and to investigate the effect of vitamin D supplementation on HbA1c levels.
Methods: This was a prospective observational cohort study of all patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes (above 12 years) who attended the outpatient clinics of a tertiary center in Riyadh. HbA1c and vitamin D levels were recorded prior to supplementation and after 9 months of supplementation with vitamin D. All patients were divided into four groups according to their vitamin D level and an association between 25(OH)D and HbA1c was tested.
Results: Results showed that 73.1% of the patients had 25(OH)D levels < 50 nmol/L. We observed lowering of HbA1c after vitamin D supplementation (from mean HbA1c of 10.55 to 7.70). We found HbA1c to be inversely related to serum vitamin D levels (r = -0.14 (P < 0.0000002) before supplementation and -0.16 (P < 0.000001) after supplementation with vitamin D).
Conclusions: Advising patients with higher HbA1c to test their vitamin D level and correct any deficiency will result in better blood glucose control and benefit the patient's overall health.
Keywords: Glycosylated hemoglobin; Type 1 diabetes mellitus; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Vitamin D.