Diabetes Complications

Kidney function not improved by taking vitamin D supplements, scientists claim

People with prediabetes cannot prevent kidney damage by taking vitamin D supplements, a new study shows.

Figures reveal that reduced vitamin D blood levels are more common in people who have type 2 diabetes, with the condition often causing kidney disease.

American researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine assessed the kidney functions of 2,423 obese individuals with prediabetes, with participants taking either vitamin D supplements or a placebo.

Senior author Dr Sun Kim said: “The D2d study is unique because we recruited individuals with high-risk pre-diabetes, having 2-out-of-3 abnormal glucose values, and we recruited more than 2,000 participants, representing the largest vitamin D diabetes prevention trial to date.”

According to the findings, 28 people in the vitamin D group saw their kidney function deteriorate compared 30 in the placebo group, with both groups also presenting similar follow-up results.

Dr Kim said: “Our results did not show a benefit of vitamin D supplements on kidney function.

“Among those who were not taking any vitamin D on their own, there was a suggestion for vitamin D lowering the amount of urine protein over time, which means that it could have a beneficial effect on kidney health.

She added: “The majority of the study population had sufficient blood vitamin D levels and normal kidney function.

“Benefits of vitamin D might be greater in people with low blood vitamin D levels and, or reduced kidney function.”

The team of scientists have said that more research surrounding this topic is needed.

The study can be accessed in the publication CJASN.

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