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Don’t jump to conclusions

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Don’t jump to conclusions

If gum disease increases the risk of diabetes and higher vitamin D levels reduce the risk of gum disease then would it stand to reason that getting more vitamin D could reduce the risk of diabetes?
Not so fast Zuk warned.
“Whether vitamin D supplementation can reduce the risk of diabetes in high-risk individuals is still to be confirmed ” she said.
And as for reversing diabetes that was a firm no.
“Vitamin D cannot reverse diabetes once type 2 diabetes has developed ” Zuk said. “The pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes is complex.”
There are plans for more studies though including those trials in various countries. They’ll just take time since they’ll need to follow people over a number of years.

The gum disease connection

The vitamin also has anti-inflammatory properties that have been shownTrusted Source to likely reduce inflammation in the gums.
Periodontitis starts out as the minor inflammation gingivitis which you might have if you’ve noticed your gums bleed when you brush your teeth.
But that inflammation can spiral into receding gums bacteria buildup in the gums bone loss and eventually tooth loss.
Zuk isn’t the first to note that there appears to be a connection between these three conditions.
A 2015 studyTrusted Source in the Indian state of Kerala found that periodontitis patients both with and without type 2 diabetes had low vitamin D levels. But the authors conjectured those low levels “may be due to the diseases’ processes rather than low vitamin D acting as a cause for the disease.”
The authors of that paper also said however that the patients they studied who just had periodontitis “showed a tendency” toward prediabetes.
They concluded that the body-wide inflammatory response to the gum disease may lead to insulin resistance and prediabetes meaning gum disease may increase the risk of diabetes.

A growing problem

The risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases as you age although it’s increasingly being seen in younger and younger patients.
A 2012 study predicted the number of people under 20 with type 2 diabetes will jump by nearly 50 percent by 2050.
There are some risk factors — family history age ethnic background — that can’t be changed.
But the disease can often be prevented or at least delayed by ensuring you live a healthy lifestyle.
Nearly 90 percentTrusted Source of adults with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
That agency notes that losing weight can lower your risk of developing the disease.
Getting enough vitamin D can be part of a healthy lifestyle especially because to get enough you usually need to be outside.
You can get vitamin D from foods such as fish but unlike vitamins A or C it’s difficult to get all the vitamin D your body needs from food.
Instead most of it usually comes from sunlight.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and other important substances that are critical to maintaining healthy bones and teeth.

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