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Low vitamin D linked to high risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus

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By David Liu, PHD

Wednesday Jan 9, 2013 (foodconsumer.org) -- Taking vitamin D3 supplements may help prevent type 2 diabetes mellitus, according to a study published in Clinical Chemistry.

S. Afzal from Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Herlev Hospital, Copenhagen University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark and colleagues conducted the study and found people with less than 5 ug/L of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D in their blood were 22% more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, compared with those who had greater than 22 ug/L of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D.

Vitamin D deficiency has already been implicated in decreased insulin secretion and increased insulin resistance, which are hallmarks of type 2 diabetes mellitus.  The current study was intended to examine the association between plasma vitamin D and risk of type 2 diabetes in a general population.

Plasma vitamin D in the form of 25(OH)D was measured in 9,841 participants in the study from the general population of whom 810 developed type 2 diabetes mellitus during a 29-year follow-up.

The study also found those in the lowest quartile of plasma vitamin D were 35 percent more likely to be diagnosed with type 2diabetes, compared with those in the highest quartile.

Both associations were derived after adjustment for gender, age, smoking status, body mass index, family income, physical activity, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, and the month in which the blood was drawn.

In addition, people whose plasma levels of vitamin D were in the lower half of the range were 12 % more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, compared with those in the higher half.

A meta-analysis of data from 16 studies showed that those in the lowest quartile of plasma vitamin D were 50% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, compared with those in the highest quartile.

The researchers concluded "We observed an association of low plasma 25(OH)D with increased risk of type 2 diabetes. This finding was substantiated in a meta-analysis."

Vitamin D have been associated with more than 100 health conditions including all major Western diseases like cancer, heart disease, infections, depression, and diabetes.

The best source of vitamin D is sun rays.  But in Winter, it is also a good idea to take vitamin D supplements to maintain high levels of vitamin D.  Vitamin is found in only a few foods naturally.
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