Researchers in America have are to begin a major new national study that aims to give a definitive answer on whether Vitamin D can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
The Vitamin D and Type 2 Diabetes (D2d) study will be the first of its kind to investigate if a large daily dose of vitamin D (4,000 International Units – about five times higher than usually recommended) can prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes in adults at high risk of the metabolic disorder, i.e. those with prediabetes.
The large-scale clinical trial, which is being funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will be conducted at research centres across the United States and involve around 2,500 prediabetic participants aged 30 or older.
Half of the participants will be given the supplement vitamin D3 cholecalciferol each day and the other half a placebo, and both groups will receive check-ups twice a year for the duration of the study, as well as their usual care and support from their healthcare providers.
According to the NIH, neither participants nor the study’s clinical staff will know who is receiving vitamin D and who is receiving placebo (double-blinded), and the study will continue “until enough people have developed type 2 diabetes to be able to make a scientifically valid comparison between diabetes development in the two groups, likely about four years”.
The trial will also examine whether sex, age or race impact on the potential of vitamin D to reduce diabetes risk.
In recent years, a number of scientific studies have linked vitamin D with a number of anti-diabetic benefits, and based on observations from these studies, researchers believe the “sunshine vitamin” could cut a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes by 25%.

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