Vitamin D should be looking pretty attractive to diabetic patients. Getting sufficient levels of vitamin D may cut their risk of cardiovascular disease almost in half, and may decrease their risk of heart attack and stroke.
Diabetics whose levels of vitamin D are too low don't process cholesterol very well. Cholesterol then can build up in blood vessels. But vitamin D influences cells known as macrophage cells, hindering the macrophages from eating too much cholesterol.
"Macrophages are dispatched by the immune system in response to inflammation and often are activated by diseases such as diabetes. Bernal-Mizrachi and his colleagues believe that in diabetic patients with inadequate vitamin D, macrophages become loaded with cholesterol and eventually stiffen blood vessels and block blood flow."
When this happens macrophage cells become foam cells, which are an early indicator of atherosclerosis.
When high levels of vitamin D is present, however, macrophage cells don't consume too much cholesterol and they don't become foam cells. It may even be possible to reduce or reverse atherosclerosis in diabetics who begin getting enough vitamin D.