In women who have type 2 diabetes and show signs of depression, vitamin D lowered blood pressure and improved their moods, according to a study at Loyola University Chicago Niehoff School of Nursing.
Vitamin D even helped the women lose a few pounds.
The study was presented at the American Diabetes Association 73rd Scientific Sessions in Chicago.
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About 1 in 10 people in the United States has diabetes, and the incidence is projected to increase to 1 in 4 persons by 2050. Women with type 2 diabetes have worse outcomes than men.
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The reason may be due to depression, which affects more than 25 percent of women with diabetes. Depression impairs a patient’s ability to manage her disease by eating right, exercising, taking medications, etc.
The pilot study included 46 women who were an average age of 55 years, had diabetes an average of 8 years and insufficient blood levels of vitamin D (18 ng/ml). They took a weekly dose (50,000 International Units) of vitamin D. (By comparison, the recommended dietary allowance for women 51 to 70 years is 600 IU per day.)
After six months, their vitamin D blood levels reached sufficient levels (average 38 ng/ml) and their moods improved significantly.
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Penckofer is internationally known for her research on vitamin D, diabetes and depression. In October, she will be inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing for her scientific contributions in improving the health and quality of life of women with chronic disease.
Reference: Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division. Published June 2013. “Can the Sunshine Vitamin Improve Mood and Self Management in Women with Diabetes?” Todd Doyle, PhD, Patricia Mumby, PhD, Mary Byrn, Mary Ann Emanuele, MD and Diane Wallis, MD., Sue M. Penckofer, PhD