Researchers from the Tufts-New England Medical Centre have found that a high intake of calcium and vitamin D from the diet and supplements may lower the risk of diabetes by 33 percent.
Researchers examined data from nearly 84,000 participants as part of the Nurses Health Study and studied the connection, if any between calcium and vitamin D intake and incidence of diabetes.
Dietary and supplementary intakes were measured using food frequency questionnaires every 2 to 4 years for a total of twenty years. Upon examining the data researchers found that a combined daily intake of 1,200 mg of calcium and more than 800 IU of vitamin D was associated with a 33 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers found dietary intake of vitamin D was not associated with lowering the risk of diabetes, while more than 400 IU from supplements decreased the risk by13 percent, compared to less than 100 IU per day. On the other hand, both dietary calcium and supplements were associated with a significant decrease in risk.
While the mechanism for decreasing the risk of diabetes remains unclear, researchers speculate it may have something to do with the fact that vitamin D assists in calcium absorption and calcium is reported to play a role in normalizing glucose intolerance.
These latest findings were published in the journal, Diabetes Care.
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