Vit D Lowers Blood Sugar And Reduces Fat In Indian Women: Study Published in Nature

A new study (PREVENT-WIN Trial) published in the scientific journal Nature (published 14 Jan 2020) shows that Vitamin D consumption can help reduce fat and blood sugar in obese and pre-diabetic women who suffer from its deficiency. The study was jointly conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and the Diabetes Foundation of India. It also reflects on the rise in Vitamin D deficiency cases, especially in the Indian subcontinent.


The study included 121 overweight/obese females aged 20–60 years who had prediabetes. Prediabetes is one of the phases between normal sugar levels to hyperglycemia.


Vitamin D deficiency is increasingly recognised as a global health problem. Data from Indian subcontinent show high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency. Although not much comparative data are available, one study shows lower blood Vitamin D levels in South Asians than White caucasians (1). Specifically, in India, prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is high (94%) in urban areas primarily because of poor exposure to sunlight on account of urbanization, mechanization and office-based jobs (2). Recent data show that vitamin D deficiency is common even in rural areas of India despite high degree of sun exposure (3).

Lower Vitamin D Levels Associated With Higher Fasting Blood Glucose Levels

The study shows that lower Vitamin D levels are associated with higher fasting blood glucose levels. Therefore, the researchers are of the view that further studies are needed in Asian Indian women with prediabetes to evaluate if diabetes could be altogether prevented.

The researchers in the current study hypothesized that Asian Indian women might be benefited from the intake of Vitamin D, as it can lead to a decrease in glycemia and reversal of prediabetes to normal glucose regulation, along with improvement in insulin sensitivity and body composition. The study included overweight/obese females aged 20–60 years who had prediabetes. Prediabetes is one of the phases between normal sugar levels to hyperglycemia. So this phase can be used to intervene and achieve normal glucose levels. Not only this study, but several other studies worldwide have shown that Vitamin D is linked with insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.

Urbanization Resulting In Vitamin D Deficiency

According to the study, around 94 percent of people in urban India are Vitamin D deficient. This is because of the rapidly growing urbanization which is limiting people’s exposure to everyday sunlight. However, even high exposure to sunlight doesn’t show good results when it comes to Vitamin D composition in the body, as it is even common among in rural India.

Higher Odds Of Vitamin D Deficiency In Indian Women

Indian women have been shown at a higher risk of developing Vitamin D deficiency than European women. It is suggested that this may be because of the traditional clothing and also limited outbound movements because of social stigmas. According to the recently conducted study on women in New Delhi, the marked prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (94.5%; 68.6% deficiency and 25.9% insufficiency in urban and 90.8% in rural areas) was observed.


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