Nationwide NIH-funded trial to examine whether vitamin D supplementation can reduce diabetes risk in patients with pre-diabetes
A research team led by Anastassios G. Pittas, MD, MS, Endocrinologist and Co-Director of the Diabetes Center at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, has received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant of more than $40 million over five years to conduct the Vitamin D and Type 2 diabetes (D2d) study (http://www.d2dstudy.org). D2d is a nationwide clinical trial to determine if vitamin D supplementation can reduce the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes in people who are at high risk for this serious metabolic disorder.
Despite a lack of conclusive evidence to the effectiveness of vitamin D for conditions not related to bone health, sales of vitamin D supplements in the United States have skyrocketed to $425 million annually, making it one of the top selling supplements in the country and one of the most talked about topics in health and medicine. The D2d study, which is coordinated out of the Division of Endocrinology at Tufts Medical Center, is the first of its kind to specifically examine whether vitamin D has an effect on prevention of type 2 diabetes.
"Early studies, by our team and others, suggest a strong link between vitamin D and reduction of diabetes risk," said Pittas, who has investigated the connection since 2002. "While there is a lot of hype about vitamin D and its health benefits, including for diabetes, there is not yet enough evidence from clinical trials to support a recommendation of vitamin D supplementation for diabetes prevention. If the D2d study confirms our hypothesis, it could have a significant impact on the quality of life for millions of people and could potentially save the American health care system billions of dollars."