Diabetes: Is it simply a vitamin deficiency?

Evidence Mounting for Vitamin D Link to Diabetes Risk

(Liam Davenport, Medscape) People with low vitamin D levels may be at increased risk of type 2 diabetes, according to the results of a new US epidemiological study.

The analysis of more than 900 individuals from southern California found that having robust plasma levels of  vitamin D was associated with a significant and substantial reduction in later diabetes risk.

“One fifth of the risk of developing diabetes …” 

“We found that participants with blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D that were above 30 ng/mL had one third of the risk of diabetes, and those with levels above 50 ng/mL had one fifth of the risk of developing diabetes [compared with those whose levels were < 30 ng/mL],” said lead author Sue K Park, MD, Seoul National University College of Medicine, South Korea, in a press release by the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), where some of the team are based.

The research also showed that every 10 ng/mL increase in 25(OH)D levels above 30 ng/mL was associated with a 36% reduction in diabetes risk.

Overall, 77% of US adults have been found to have vitamin D deficiency, with the prevalence doubling since 1980.

The team studied participants from the Rancho Bernardo Study of Health Aging to examine the association between 25(OH)D levels and incidence of diabetes or prediabetes in a cohort with an unusually high median vitamin D concentration.

Specifically, they included 903 primarily older, middle-income, community-dwelling white adults without a history of diabetes from a southern California suburb.

Researchers explain that the cohort may have a lower than usual prevalence of vitamin D deficiency because of year-round sunshine and good weather in a sunny and clear area of southern California, and because of a higher standard of education, and a greater socioeconomic status and proportion of whites. Read the full story at Medscape


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