Vitamin D Disappoints in Diabetes

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Results from a sub-analysis of the VITamin D and OmegA-3 TriaL (VITAL) did not find any benefit from either supplement in preventing or slowing kidney disease in patients with type 2 diabetes. Negative results from the primary analysis of the VITAL trial were published earlier this year showing no benefit of the supplements in cancer or cardiovascular diseases prevention.

The diabetic kidney disease portion of the trial randomized 1312 adults with type 2 diabetes to vitamin D or omega-3 supplementation or placebos and followed them for incidence or progression of kidney disease for 5 years. The purpose was to ask “whether we can use widely available and inexpensive and relatively safe supplements to prevent chronic kidney disease or progression early in the course of type 2 diabetes,” said Ian DeBoer, MD, MS, professor in the Division of Nephrology and associate director of the Kidney Research Institute at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The trial did not find a significant difference in change in eGFR in either of the supplement groups, dashing hopes that such an inexpensive intervention might help prevent or stall kidney disease. The University of Oklahoma’s Lane was not surprised by the findings. She noted that results from preclinical studies that had suggested potential benefits to such supplements have not been confirmed so far in clinical trials.

“We’re beginning to see big scale trials of these [supplements] and almost all of them are coming up negative,” she said.

“Effects of Vitamin D and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Kidney Function and Damage in Type 2 Diabetes” Oral Abstract 138