Vitamin D Linked to Diabetes
Lower levels of vitamin D are linked to a higher risk of developing diabetes. In a new study following more than 5,000 people for 5 years, the researchers found those with lower than average vitamin D levels had 57 percent increased risk of developing type II diabetes compared to people with levels in the recommended range.
“Lower levels of vitamin D circulating in the bloodstream were associated with an increased risk of developing type II diabetes, even though our findings do not prove cause and effect,” said lead author Dr. Claudia Gagnon, a fellow at the Western Hospital at the University of Melbourne in Australia.
To see if vitamin D levels influenced insulin sensitivity and diabetes risk, Gagnon’s team measured the vitamin D blood levels of 5,200 people without diabetes. After 5 years, the researchers measured vitamin D levels again and found that twice as many people with low blood levels of vitamin D later developed diabetes, compared to those with blood levels in the normal range. Given the risk factors for diabetes such as age, waist circumference and family history, the increased risk from low vitamin D levels was translated to 57 percent.
Vitamin D, well known for its role in working together with the calcium to the bones, is produced by the body in response to the sunlight as well as it happens naturally in some foods such as eggs, cod and salmon.