Vitamin D found to improve insulin functioning

I reported on a study which suggested that obesity is a potential cause of vitamin D deficiency, but that vitamin D deficiency is unlikely to have a big role in driving obesity. However, even if this conclusion is utterly correct, it does not mean that boosting vitamin D levels in the body does not benefit health, including in those who are obese.

And by way of example, just this week saw the publication of a study in which obese individuals were treated with vitamin D with good effect. The study subjects were adolescents (average age 14) with an average body mass index of about 40 (obese). They were treated with 4,000 IU (international units) of vitamin D or placebo for 6 months. Vitamin D levels in the study subjects started at about 19 ng/ml (47 nmol/l) and doubled in those taking vitamin D (no significant change in those taking placebo).

A number of parameters were measured, and here’s a brief summary of the findings:

Vitamin D did not affect body mass index
Vitamin D did not affect blood markers of inflammation
Vitamin D did lead to a lower level of fasting insulin levels
Vitamin D did lead to better functioning insulin (insulin ‘sensitivity’ was improved)

The finding that vitamin D did not affect body mass index is consistent with the recent research which suggests obesity is a potential cause of vitamin D deficiency, but not so much the other way round.

The finding that vitamin D improved insulin sensitivity is encouraging, though. In general terms, the better insulin works, the better blood sugar control is, and the lower the risk of someone developing type 2 diabetes. Proper functioning insulin basically facilitates the uptake of nutrients from the bloodstream into the body’s cells, which can improve physical and mental energy and reduce hunger.

This is only one study, but other evidence exists which shows vitamin D has the capacity to enhance insulin functioning. In one study, 4,000 IU of vitamin D given for 6 months improved insulin sensitivity in a group of insulin resistant and vitamin D-deficient women [2].


1. Belenchia AM, et al. Correcting vitamin D insufficiency improves insulin sensitivity in obese adolescents: a randomized controlled trial. AJCN. First published ahead of print February 13, 2013

2. von Hurst PR, et al. Vitamin D supplementation reduces insulin resistance in South Asian women living in New Zealand who are insulin resistant and vitamin D deficient – a randomised, placebo-controlled trial. Br J Nutr. 2010;103(4):549-55


4th step in basic management: empower your team to perform



The next step in moving towards a team that perform and attain the required objectives, is to EMPOWER them to live up to their responsibilities. Empowerment is to equip your team with the necessary:

  • support;
  • knowledge;
  • coaching;
  • contacts;
  • equipment;
  • resources;
  • finances;
  • room to make mistakes; and
  • boundaries to innovate.

This is formally done by determining the level and tolerances for all the variables mentioned above and contracting with your individual team members. This forms the base for performance review. The frequency of review needs to be established.

Now you have created the greenhouse for your team to perform.


a manager’s reponsibilities


A manager is responsible for a defined piece of work within a department/division/business. The success for a manager is to deliver the determined objectives for that unit within the agreed duration, budget and sustainability. A manager is not only responsible to deliver results, but to transcend the present and build the necessary management systems to sustain and increase performance continuously.

Managers should be focusing to deliver in the short-term, but never lose sight of implementing systems that will enable sustainability of results and allow more time to be spent on innovation to either grow revenue or decrease cost, without compromising om quality.

In large corporate organisations, the manager is exposed to formal managerial planning processes that are schedule to a corporate calendar. In smaller organisations, the manager/owner can determine the managerial cycle. The managerial cycle is

  • forecasting, (Plan)
  • capacity planning, (Plan)
  • scheduling, (Plan)
  • executing, (Do)
  • reviewing and (Check)
  • corrective action. (Act)

The art of management is to motivate and lead the team to accomplish the objectives set.

Do you follow these steps as a manager?

Management method

Project management has a defacto method in PRINCEII. The method uses 7 Principles, 7 Themes and 7 Processes in a system designed to place any project under control.

General Management, to my knowledge, do not possess such a widely used methodology. It will enable managers to be guided within a framework. Best practice is also a consideration.

In my experience, most entrants in management, junior managers and even seniors managers, would welcome a standard way of dealing with the management issues. I will aim to communicate parts of a methodology that I’ve used as a consultant and that enables organizations to increase their performance.

“Meeting bloody meetings”

Every working person has been involved in a meeting, one or another time. The general comment regarding meetings is that they are a “waste of time”, that there is “no value” to a meeting and the best of all is that “a meeting is not work”. This is a real problem, because meetings are an integral mechanism of management. Meetings should be the culmination of the review of planned activities, identification of corrective action and holding people to account.

Meetings are to be planned in detail as far as the agenda, time allocated and expected output. All participants should be engaged and feeling that they are productively contributing. If not, the person should probably not attend the meeting. It is not an information session.

There are 2 types of meetings, namely the regular and frequent meeting interventions to review the execution company activities and then there is the ad hoc/as required review of specific issues important to the team/group/company. Both types should be carefully planned.

Management without proper meetings, is very difficult.effective-meetings-productive-tips