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Low vitamin D may cause diabetes

People with lower levels of vitamin D in their blood may be at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Low vitamin D may cause diabetes

People with lower levels of vitamin D in their blood may be at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes. To investigate the relation between vitamin D levels and the risk of developing diabetes, researchers from Finland looked at 1398 men and women, aged between 40 to 75 years who were free of diabetes at the start of the study. The researchers periodically measured the blood levels of vitamin D in these participants. During the 22 years of follow-up, 412 participants developed type 2 diabetes and 986 individuals remained diabetes free. It was found that men in the top fourth, based on their blood levels of the vitamin were 72 percent less likely to have developed type 2 diabetes than men in the lowest quartile, after the researchers adjusted for body weight, physical activity and other factors. However, no such relationship was seen for women. The above findings suggest that lack of vitamin D interferes with insulin secretion, which leads to decreased control over body blood sugar levels and thus to diabetes. Long-term studies are expected to explore the relationship further.
Epidemiology
September 2008
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