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Early Vitamin D Intake May Lower Type 1 Diabetes Risk by Half

A recent study from Harvard researchers suggests that increasing vitamin D intake during adolescence and young adulthood could reduce the risk of developing type 1 diabetes by 44%.

The researchers analyzed blood samples of young adults that came from the Department of Defense Serum Repository. They identified 310 people who were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes between 1997 and 2009. They analyzed blood samples taken from them prior to onset of the disease and compared them to blood samples taken from 613 individuals who did not develop type 1 diabetes.

They found that white, non-Hispanic individuals with vitamin D levels higher than 100 nmol/L were 44% less likely to develop type 1 diabetes compared to those with levels less than 75 nmol/L. Type 1 diabetes risk was highest among those whose vitamin D levels were in the lowest 20%.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. It was published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Epidemiology on February 3, 2013.

Previous studies have shown vitamin D to be associated with improved kidney health, reductions in skin cancer, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, improved cardiovascular health, combating diabetes, and improving age related eye degeneration.

Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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