Diabetes Forecast

Supplements Strike Out When It Comes to Improving Kidney Function

Mohammed Haneefa Nizamudeen/Getty Images

Research has linked low vitamin D levels and low-fish diets to kidney disease. Supplements might seem like an obvious solution, but a new study found they may not help. In 1,312 adults with type 2 diabetes, neither vitamin D nor fish oil supplements prevented loss of kidney function over five years. Study participants were randomly assigned to receive a vitamin D supplement with a placebo, a fish oil supplement with a placebo, both supplements, or two placebos. Kidney function declined slightly over time in all groups. So, what’s behind kidney disease’s link to vitamin D deficiency and a lack of fish in the diet? It may have to do with lifestyle. For instance, people who are sick or unhealthy might engage in less outdoor activity, leading to lower sunlight exposure and, as a result, less vitamin D production. The bottom line: Don’t waste money on these supplements to prevent kidney disease. Keeping your blood glucose in goal range, however, is a smart move.
Source: JAMA, published online Nov. 8, 2019



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