People with lower levels of vitamin D in their blood may be at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to research published in the September 2008 issue of Epidemiology.
In this new study, researchers from Helsinki, Finland tracked healthy, middle-aged adults for 22 years. During the study period, 412 people developed type 2 diabetes while 986 remained healthy.
Blood levels of vitamin D in people who developed type 2 diabetes were compared to those who stayed diabetes-free.
The results showed that men with the highest blood levels of the "sunshine vitamin" were 72 percent less likely to have developed type 2 diabetes than their peers who had the lowest level of this vitamin.
This relationship between vitamin D and diabetes was not seen in the female participants.
It's thought that lack of vitamin D interferes with insulin secretion, and previous studies have suggested a link between low vitamin D and type 2 diabetes.
The body makes vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight, however, many Canadians get too little vitamin D from sun exposure, especially in the winter months.
The Canadian Cancer Society recommends 1,000 IU (international units) of the vitamin D daily during the fall and winter months. To determine the dose of vitamin D you need to take, add up how much you're already getting from your multivitamin and calcium supplements.
Choose a vitamin D supplement that contains vitamin D-3, instead of vitamin D-2 which is less potent.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.