Diabetic nephropathy is regarded as an independent risk factor in the progression of renal and cardiovascular disorders and is linked to vitamin D deficiency. It has been well documented that inflammation is a major factor in diabetic nephropathy progression. Previous research evidence suggests that vitamin D can promote pancreatic beta-cell survival by affecting the influences of cytokines and nuclear transcription factors such as NF-kB which play a critical role in proinflammatory signaling pathway. In this recent randomized double-blind placebo controlled clinical study, the effects of Vitamin D3 supplementation on metabolic and inflammatory parameters in patients with diabetic nephropathy were examined.
In this eight-week, controlled trial conducted in 50 diabetic nephropathy patients with marginal status of vitamin D, participants were randomly assigned to two groups: control and intervention (administered 50000 IU vitamin D3 supplement weekly on a specific day).
Vitamin D3 supplemented group showed significantly lower levels of fasting blood sugar (FBS), insulin, HOMA-IR, TNF-alpha and IL-6 following supplementation, whereas no changes were observed in the placebo group.
Commentary: Given the evident association between HOMA-IR, FBS blood levels and vitamin D supplementation in metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, this clinical study corroborates the role of Vitamin D3 supplementation in alleviating diabetic nephropathy symptoms. More long-term studies with large sample sizes are warranted to confirm the findings of this clinical study. Nevertheless, it can be surmised that vitamin D supplementation can be regarded as an effective way to prevent the progression of diabetic nephropathy by reducing inflammatory markers and improving FBS.
1. Esfandiari A., et al. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2019 Jan – Feb;13(1):278-283.