What is the point in talking about a negative result, emphasising it with a study with important numbers and, moreover, published in a journal of great scientific importance, like the New England Journal of Medicine?
A study that shows how giving vitamin D supplements to those who don’t have low levels does not reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in high-risk people. It was a sense of low-cost hope that vanished into thin air, yet an attempt that had to be made even though it has failed miserably.
84 million with pre-diabetes
Let’s take a step back. The scenario of the study is in fact that of a country, the United States, which does not really know how to defend itself from diabetes. 84 million Americans have a very high risk of developing the disease, but 90% of them ignores this fact. And, on the other hand, they make a disease diagnosis every 23 seconds. So much so that already an American out of 11 already has diabetes. Scary numbers! That is why they started prescribing vitamin D which, having been associated in many studies with many diseases, from hypertension to cancer and diabetes itself, they thought would prevent diabetes.
The idea of vitamin D deficiency
In some places in Europe, it was decided to make the therapeutic prescription necessary. In the case of the prevention of type 2 diabetes, and of the D2d study, we start from the idea that a vitamin D deficiency can be one of the triggers of the disease. Or in any case involved. And so Anastassios Pittas, co-director of the Center for Diabetes and Lipids of Tufts University and principal investigator of the study, decided to verify it by administering for about two and a half years a daily dose of 4000 IU (International Units) of Vitamin D and placebo to 2423 participants in 22 different studies throughout the country 844.8% women).
Hope thwarted by data
The hope was that supplementing with vitamin D (a low-cost solution compared to drugs for the disease) could reduce the risk of getting sick. At the end of the study 616 new cases of disease development were recorded: 293 among those who took vitamin D and 323 in the placebo group. Analysing and dividing the data, no difference was found.
This has the advantage of being the largest study on vitamin D and type 2 diabetes, but not the only one. Prescribing vitamin D is almost a fad and this study shows that at least to delay the arrival of the disease in high-risk individuals does not work.