Vitamin D and calcium lower diabetes risk

Tue, 04 Apr 2006
The risks behind developing diabetes have become more apparent in recent years. Higher levels of calcium and vitamin D have now been found to lower the risk of diabetes by 33 per cent, according to a new study by American scientists. A leading European specialist has also reported that over a billion people may be vitamin D deficient.

The research linking vitamin D deficiency and a range of health problems is numerous. These problems include osteoporosis, cancer and other autoimmune diseases. The majority of bodily vitamin D is manufactured through exposure to sunlight, although the vitamin is also present in some foods. In some countries, sunlight during winter is too weak to provoke the body into making vitamin D.

A leading expert from the University of Leuven highlighted the global deficiency of vitamin D at the European Congress of Endocrinology. He said that over a billion people globally have too little vitamin D. The study is published in Diabetes Care, and used data from the well known Nurses Health Study. Vitamin D and calcium intake were compared to incidences of diabetes in the enormous study group of registered nurses. Supplemental calcium and vitamin D in the diet were overwhelmingly associated with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. The mechanism of the association is not clear, but the researchers proposed that the two nutrients work together in the body.
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