Aims: Diet is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes mellitus. As cofactors necessary for enzyme function of all metabolic pathways, vitamins and minerals have the potential to improve glucose metabolism. We investigated the effects of a nutrient intervention program on glycemic status.
Methods: We used a form of natural experiment to compare Pure North program participants (n = 1018) that received vitamin D alone (Vital 1) or vitamin D in combination with other nutrients (Vital 2) during two different time periods. Changes in 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], high-sensitivity C reactive protein (hs-CRP), glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and glycemic status were characterized over one and two years.
Results: Serum 25(OH)D concentrations increased significantly in both Vital 1 (to 111 ± 49 nmol/L) and Vital 2 (to 119 ± 52 nmol/L) over one year. HbA1c and hs-CRP were significantly reduced over time in Vital 2. Higher 25(OH)D levels after one year were associated with larger decreases in HbA1c and hs-CRP in Vital 2. At one year, 8% of Vital 2 and 16% of Vital 1 participants progressed from normoglycemia to prediabetes/diabetes, whereas 44% of Vital 2 and 8% of Vital prediabetes/diabetes subjects regressed to normoglycemia.
Conclusions: Vitamin D combined with other nutrients was associated with a reduced risk of progression to diabetes and with an increased rate of reversion to normoglycemia in high risk participants. The results suggest that nutrient supplementation regimes may provide a safe, economical and effective means for lowering diabetes risk. Further examination of this potential via randomized controlled trials is warranted.
Keywords: Multivitamin; Normoglycemia; Nutritional supplements; Prediabetes; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Vitamin D.