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Vitamin D Can Prevent Diabetes

Nov 8th, 2011

In recent years, researchers have linked low levels of Vitamin D in the body to the development of insulin resistance and diabetes. Insulin resistance is a condition when insulin can not function properly and higher levels of insulin are required to produce the same effect. This can result in blood glucose building up to high levels in the blood. If this condition persists, then pre-diabetes and type II diabetes can develop. There is a lot of evidence suggesting that giving people Vitamin D may help them overcome insulin resistance.

Researchers at Massey University published a study in the British Journal of Nutrition which described results of giving 83 South Asian women either a placebo or 4000 IU of Vitamin D daily. After 6 months, the women receiving Vitamin D had significantly higher insulin sensitivity along with decreased insulin resistance compared to those receiving placebo.

Prior to this study, a 2009 meta-analysis published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism revealed that a higher level of Vitamin D in the blood lowered diabetes risk.

There are several ways to boost your daily intake of Vitamin D. 15 to 20 minutes of sunlight exposure (using sunblock on your face only) about 3 times per week is generally enough to keep you from being deficient. However, you must take care to avoid over-exposure and increasing your risk of skin cancer. Foods rich in Vitamin D include fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. Food sources often fortified with Vitamin D are milk, orange juice, and cereals, so just look at your nutrition labels. Dietary Vitamin D supplements are available in D2 and D3 forms. D3 is likely the better choice as there is much evidence that it is more easily absorbed in the body.