You should be taking more dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. If you are suffering a vitamin A deficiency, which is found in these foods, there’s a very high risk of developing type II diabetes.
According to the latest study conducted at the Weill Cornell Medical College, New York (published – The Journal of Biological Chemistry), deficiency of vitamin A can cause type II diabetes. These results could open new possibilities in treating this type of diabetes.
How is Vitamin A Deficiency Related to Type II Diabetes?
Almost 95% of all people who are diagnosed with diabetes have type II of the condition. It is the most common type of diabetes amongst Americans. Insulin resistance is one of its main characteristics. This means that the insulin-producing beta cells in your pancreas will not be able to work effectively.
The Weill Cornell Medical College researchers studied beta cells in two different groups of adult mice to learn more about the relation between vitamin A and type-2 diabetes. The first group was genetically modified to prevent them from being able to store dietary vitamin A. The second group was unable to store vitamin A the normal way from foods.
The researchers found that the first group of lab mice suffered beta cell death. They weren’t able to produce insulin.
Controlling Blood Sugar with Vitamin A Foods
When the scientists eliminated vitamin A from the second group’s diet, they found that this caused significant beta cell loss. It not only reduced the production of insulin, it also increased the blood glucose levels. When they returned vitamin A to the mice’s diet, there was steady increase in the production of insulin and beta cell. This also helped in returning the blood glucose to the normal levels.
It is also interesting that previous researches found that vitamin A was crucial for beta cell development in fetal development. However, scientists were not sure if vitamin A had the same effects through adulthood.
There are so many foods that contain vitamin A – fruits, veggies, dairy products and even meats. The vitamin helps in boosting cell growth, thus improving vision and immune system. Vitamin A exists in two types:
1. Preformed Vitamin A – It is also called retinol and can be found in dairy products, meat, fish, and poultry.
2. Pro-vitamin A – Also called beta-carotene, it is found in so many fruits and veggies.
According to some evidence, it is claimed that excess amount of preformed vitamin A is not healthy, as it increases the risks of hip fracture. It can also affect the positive effects of vitamin D in your body. All the studies suggest that vitamin A should be sourced from produce – healthy sources like kale, spinach, squash, and sweet potatoes. You should increase the intake of these foods.
Consume More Greens to Fight Vitamin A Deficiency
You suffer from vitamin A deficiency (VAD) if there is lack of vitamin A required for growth and development, and carrying out physiological functions. The deficiency can also bring bouts of stress due to illness. This vitamin helps in stimulating the production and functions of white blood cells, which is crucial for a strong immune system.
It is expected that scientists will be able to develop synthetic and healthy vitamin A in the future that could offer additional insurance. It may also help in reversing type II diabetes, as per the researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College.
While the scientists are working on it, you should increase your intake of dark leafy greens.