Sunshine could benefit diabetes

Mon, 06 Dec 2010
A new research project will investigate the benefits of soaking up the sun for people suffering from diabetes . The two-year study will hope to discover the effects of regular doses of vitamin D in helping to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes .

It will examine mice that had been genetically modified to have impaired vitamin D processing, and which are given a diet high in sugar and fat similar to that found in overweight people in many countries to check, whether they were more likely to develop the metabolic condition .

Jenny Gunton of the Garvan Institute in Sydney, Australia, who has been awarded ASD150,000 by the Diabetes Australia Research Trust (DART), to undertake the research, said "If you have low levels [of vitamin D] you are more likely to develop diabetes in the future, and people with diabetes are more likely to have low levels."

She added "But that doesn't tell us whether it causes diabetes ... You could equally argue that people with diabetes do less exercise and so that's why they have less vitamin D."

Dr Gunton believes that a person's genetic profile could put them at a greater risk of diabetes, and that unhealthy lifestyles are worsening the situation. The study may help to show why there is an increase rate of type 2 diabetes in people who work at night.
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