Vitamin D3 News
Breaking news: November 2009
Vol 1 No 12
In This Issue
Vitamin D3 studies show benefits in type II diabetes and more from the Canadians
This week yet another controlled clinical trial was published demonstrating the benefits of Vitamin D3, this time in type II diabetes. In addtion, the Canadian Cancer Society has initiated a  major effort to determine the optimal dose of Vitamin D3 to prevent cancer.
Vitamin D3 improves control of type II diabetes
Type II diabetes, the form that usually manifests in middle age and later years is on the rise. The increasing incidence of this condition in the western world is certainly linked to obesity, and several studies suggest that Vitamin D3 deficiency may also be playing a role. These earlier studies were reviewed in the diabetic section of  Recently a  meta-analysis of data from observational studies and clinical trials in adults showed a "relatively consistent association" between low intakes of calcium, vitamin D3, or dairy intake and type-2 diabetes (Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Vol. 92, pp. 2017-2029).
This month a double blind placebo controlled study, the gold standard in terms of producing reliable clinical data, in women with type II diabetes was published.

The new study involved 81 South Asian women with insulin resistance (type II diabetes) living in New Zealand. The subjects, aged between 23 and 68, were randomly assigned to receive either 4,000 IU of Vitamin D3 or placebo daily for six months.
Insulin resistance, where fat, muscle and liver cells fail to respond to normal circulating levels of insulin, is a key feature of type II diabetes. As a result, glucose is not transported into the cells, producing abnormally high cirulating blood glucose levels.
Insulin resistance was found to be significantly lower in women taking high-dose vitamin D3 supplementation (4000IU). The optimal effects were observed when vitamin D3 levels were in the range 32-47ngm/ml (80 to 119 nmol/L), said the researchers, "providing further evidence for an increase in the recommended adequate level."
The greatest improvement in insulin resistance was observed when blood levels of Vitamin D (measured as 25-hydroxyvitamin D), the non-active storage from of Vitamin D were are least 32ngm/ml (80nmol/L).

At the end of the test period, women in the vitamin D group experienced "significant improvements" in both insulin sensitivity and resistance, said the researchers, which was also accompanied a decrease in fasting insulin levels, compared to placebo. 

Ref: von Hurst PR, et al. Vitamin D supplementation reduces insulin resistance in South Asian women living in New Zealand who are insulin resistant and vitamin D deficient - a randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Br J Nutr 28 September 2009
Canadian Cancer Society calls for further studies to determine optimal dose of Vitamin D3 in cancer prevention. 
The Canadian Cancer Society has taken the unusual step of writing to major medical research agencies in North America to tell them that it is time to fund large-scale clinical trials to fill in knowledge gaps and, in particular, determine the optimal dose of Vitamin D3 needed for cancer prevention.   The move follow a recent flurry of scientific papers that have concluded that at least half, and probably more of all cancers, can be prevented if adults are encouraged to take the Vitamin D3.
Findings in the last couple of years suggest that Vitamin D3 could be a magic bullet for cancer prevention on par with tobacco control, healthy eating and active lifestyles.

Heather Logan, the society's director of cancer control policy, said the organization acted because it thinks the vitamin may offer a way to "make dramatic inroads in terms of the burden of cancer."

Despite the encouraging data, scientific uncertainties hamper the current understanding of how to use Vitamin D3. Researchers have not yet run the kind of large-scale experiments that would determine the optimal levels of Vitamin D3 needed and how doses would have to be adjusted for factors, such as a person's skin colour.

"The body of evidence around the impact of vitamin D3 ... now requires the rigours of a comprehensive research program to address the gaps in knowledge," the society said in the letter sent last week.

Such data will be of major importance to everyone but especially those living in northern regions where we experience the so called Vitamin D3 winter, when the sun is never strong enough to make vitamin D3 and when levels of the nutrient in people's bodies plunge.
Large trials will need thousands of participants and cost millions of dollars.  However, if such studies confirm dramatic health benefits, it could save governments and health insurance companies billions of dollars.

Among others, the letter was sent to the National Cancer Institute of Canada, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, bodies that have government and other funding for medical studies.

Medical researchers welcomed the Canadian Cancer Society's call.
Reinhold Veith, a University of Toronto professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, said the investigation is needed because of the Vitamin D3's low-cost and wide availability and the plausible scientific basis for why it might work at the cellular level.

"In terms of all of those features, I don't think there is anything else that can beat the vitamin D story," he said.
Vitamin D3 1000IU 
VitaminD3World's microtablet formulation 
VitaminD3World has launched the smallest Vitamin D3 microtablet in the world. Apart from being tiny, it is also virtually tasteless. 
The microtablets are formulated with cellulose, which rapidly absorbs water, resulting in a tablet that breaks down very quickly ensuring that the Vitamin D3 can be easily absorbed. These tiny tablets can be either swallowed, simply crushed up in your mouth or placed under the tongue until they disintegrate.  
Customers purchasing this new formulation can obtain free supplies of 400IU Vitamin D3 for their children. For more details, click here.

Editorial Comment
Conservative medical opinion frequently referenced the lack of controlled clinical data to confirm the role of Vitamin D3. This was a valid critisism as the bulk of data was epidemiological in nature, which provides interesting signals for further work but does not provide definate proof of a cause and effect relationship. However, two years ago a controlled trial in cancer prevention was published. This year we have seen controlled clinical data emerge demonstrating Vitamin D3 can prevent premature labor and, most recently, improve the control of type II diabetes. The fact that we can see conclusive results in very different areas of medicine suggests that Vitamin D3 has multiple effects throughout the body. Please forward this information to anyone who may be interested. If you have received this newsletter from a friend, you can sign up to receive future updates here.