Washington: Vitamin D supplements significantly lowers blood pressure and improves moods of women who have type 2 diabetes and show signs of depression, a new study has found.
Vitamin D even helped the women lose a few pounds.
"Vitamin D supplementation potentially is an easy and cost-effective therapy, with minimal side effects," Sue M. Penckofer, PhD, RN, lead author of the study and a professor in the Niehoff School of Nursing, said.
"Larger, randomized controlled trials are needed to determine the impact of vitamin D supplementation on depression and major cardiovascular risk factors among women with Type 2 diabetes," she said.
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.
Blood pressure also improved, with the upper number decreasing from 140.4 mm Hg to 132.5 mm Hg. And their weight dropped from an average of 226.1 pounds to 223.6 pounds.