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Diabetes increases risk of poor cognition by 2X, 12 weeks of Vitamin D not help (but 18 weeks did) – RCT Oct 2019

Vitamin D Supplementation and Cognition in People with Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Control Trial

Journal of Diabetes Research, Volume 2019, Article ID 5696391, 13 pages. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/5696391
Mary A. Byrn mbyrn at luc.edu, William Adams, Sue Penckofer, and Mary Ann Emanuele
Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA



  • It takes many months for the blood to respond to an increased daily dose of Vitamin D
  • More months still for the body to get the benefit (typically need 30 ng)
  • Only got to 21 ng in 3 months
  • Need > 30 ng for at least a month - which might have been achivied by any of the following
    • Higher dose of Vitamin D - say 50,000 every 4 days
    • Loading dose to get Vitamin D levels >30 ng in a month
    • Use a gut-friendly form of Vitamin D (including topical)

See: How to read a medical study (with notes on Vitamin D studies) – Oct 2019

Items in both categories Diabetes and Cognitive are listed here:

Overview Diabetes and vitamin D contains the following

  • Diabetes is 5X more frequent far from the equator
  • Children getting 2,000 IU of vitamin D are 8X less likely to get Type 1 diabetes
  • Obese people get less sun / Vitamin D - and also vitamin D gets lost in fat
  • Sedentary people get less sun / Vitamin D
  • Worldwide Diabetes increase has been concurrent with vitamin D decrease and air conditioning
  • Elderly get 4X less vitamin D from the same amount of sun
        Elderly also spend less time outdoors and have more clothes on
  • All items in category Diabetes and Vitamin D 463 items: both Type 1 and Type 2

Vitamin D appears to both prevent and treat diabetes

  • Appears that >2,000 IU will Prevent
  • Appears that >4,000 IU will Treat , but not cure
  • Appears that Calcium and Magnesium are needed for both Prevention and Treatment
    • which are just some of the vitamin D cofactors

Number of articles in both categories of Diabetes and:

  • Dark Skin 22;   Intervention 50;   Meta-analysis 30;   Obesity 26;  Pregnancy 39;   T1 (child) 36;  Omega-3 10;  Vitamin D Receptor 20;  Genetics 11;  Magnesium 19    Click here to see details

Diabetic Epidemic

  • Step back to 1994. Suppose an epidemic struck the United States, causing blindness, kidney failure, and leg amputations in steadily increasing numbers.
    Suppose that in less than a decade's time, the epidemic had victimized one out of every eight people
    That epidemic is real, and its name is diabetes, now the nation's sixth leading cause of death.
    Chart from the web (2018?)

 Download the PDF from VitaminDWiki

Vitamin D levels did not even get to 30 ng in 3 months

File is not an image.

Aim. Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of cognitive decline which adversely impacts self-management of the disease. Evidence also supports a relationship between low serum 25(OH)D levels and poor cognition. The purpose of this trial was to assess vitamin D supplementation on cognitive executive functioning in persons living with type 2 diabetes.

Methods. This was a double-blinded RCT where participants were randomized to receive either weekly vitamin D3 supplementation (50,000 IUs) or a matching comparator (5,000 IUs) for three months. The primary outcome was a battery of neuropsychological tests. Serum 25(OH)D was measured by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry. Repeated assessments of cognitive measures were collected over 12 weeks using alternative testing forms to minimize practice effects.

Results. Thirty participants were randomized to either the low-dose allocation () or the high-dose allocation (). Most participants were female (83%) and identified as Black (57%). For all cognition measures, there was no statistically significant finding between participants who received high-dose vitamin D supplementation and those who received low-dose supplementation. However, when assessing cognitive function in both groups over time, minimal improvement on the Symbol-Digits, the Stroop Interference Test, and the Trail Making Test Part B was observed.

Conclusions. To our knowledge, this is the first randomized control trial to examine the effects of vitamin D supplementation on cognitive function in people with type 2 diabetes. However, no significant differences in cognitive outcomes between participants who received high-dose therapy and those who received low dose were found.


Diabetes increases the risk of cognitive dysfunction. The incidence of dementia is 1.5 to 2.5 times higher in persons with diabetes than the general population [1]. There is evidence that cognitive decline significantly impacts the ability to self-manage diabetes [2]. Strategies to prevent cognitive decline in persons with diabetes have not been well studied. Interestingly, there is recent research suggesting the potential role of vitamin D in cognition and Alzheimer’s disease [3]. One study reported that in persons who had vitamin D deficiency, the risk for all-cause dementia and Alzheimer’s was doubled [4]. Vitamin D deficiency has been reported to negatively affect neuronal vitamin D receptors and adversely affect both growth factor signaling and neural activity [5, 6]. Therefore, providing vitamin D supplementation to improve cognition in persons with diabetes who are at a greater risk for cognitive dysfunction merits investigation.

Among individuals without diabetes, there is a significant association between low serum 25(OH)D and poor cognition. In fact, seven systematic reviews (or meta-analyses) have reported an association between low serum 25(OH)D and impaired cognition [7–13]. The majority of these syntheses were completed using observational designs (both cross sectional and longitudinal). Although there is evidence of an association between low serum 25(OH)D effects and poor cognition, clinical intervention studies have failed to associate increased serum 25(OH)D levels with improved cognitive outcomes [14]. However, one recent randomized controlled trial examined supplementation (4,000 vs. 400 IU daily) of vitamin D for 18 weeks in 82 healthy adults [15]. These authors reported that nonverbal (visual) memory seemed to improve from higher doses of vitamin D supplementation, more so for individuals with insufficient vitamin D levels at baseline (<75 nmol/L), but verbal memory and other cognitive domains did not [15].

Created by admin. Last Modification: Wednesday October 30, 2019 13:59:47 GMT-0000 by admin. (Version 3)

Attached files

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12889 Diabetes cognitive.pdf PDF 2019 admin 30 Oct, 2019 13:37 1.58 Mb 150
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