A poster at the recent Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections reported that Vitamin D supplementation decreases risk of diabetes and possibly cardiovascular complications for people with HIV. The study looked at data from 1574 patients over about 2 and half years. 61% of the patients were “undetectable” for HIV RNA, and at the start of the study, 14% showed evidence of “metabolic syndrome,” which generally points toward development of diabetes.
The study authors found that those patients who supplemented with 1000IU of Vitamin D per day had a substantially lower risk of developing full-blown Type 2 diabetes, which carries with it a higher risk of heart and blood vessel disease. However, they also found that this level of supplementation was not sufficient to completely make up for Vitamin D deficiencies in a significant number of the patients, and so they suggest that a higher dose could prove even more helpful for those with very low starting levels of the vitamin.
Reference: Guaraldi, G, et al. Vitamin D3 Supplementation Decreases The Risk of Diabetes Mellitus Among Patients with HIV Infection. CROI, 2011.
This study adds further evidence to NYBC’s conviction that Vitamin D supplementation, generally at 1000IU – 2000IU/daily (or, in case of substantial deficiency, even higher) is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR PEOPLE WITH HIV. The expense is so low, the side effects basically nonexistent, and the health benefits so convincing that it doesn’t make sense for people with HIV not to supplement with this vitamin!
You can read more about current studies on the health benefits of Vitamin D on this blog.
A simple blood test for Vitamin D is available to check levels–ask your doctor.
Note that NYBC stocks:
These Vitamin D formulations provide a convenient way to take the “sunshine vitamin” at the levels suggested by many recent studies.