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Vitamin and Mineral Combination May Provide Protection Against Diabetes

According to a study published in the March 2009 issue of the Journal of Nutrition, increasing your consumption of calcium and vitamin D may significantly improve insulin levels and protect against diabetes.

For the study, researchers from Harvard School of Public Health analyzed date on 51,528 healthy men that took part in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and 238,000 women from the Nurse's Health Study.

As part of those studies, participants total intake of vitamin D, calcium and C-peptide levels were measured. C-peptide is an amino acid called which is commonly used to determine insulin levels.

According to the researchers, men with the highest vitamin D intake had 20% lower C-peptide levels when compared to those with the lowest intake. No association was observed in women.

When researchers looked at calcium consumption they found that men with the highest intake had a 17% reduction in C-peptide levels, and women with the highest intake had a 20% reduction when compared to those with the lowest intake.

Finally, when the researchers looked at both calcium and vitamin D together they found that the highest levels were associated with a 35% reduction in C-peptide levels among men and a 12% reduction among women when compare to those with the lowest intake.

High C-peptide levels indicate elevated insulin production. This is usually the result of high blood sugar levels or insulin resistance, both of which are key risk indicators for diabetes.

In addition to providing protection against diabetes, calcium and vitamin D are also associated with a number of other health benefits.

Vitamin D has been shown to protect against mental decline and lower blood pressure. Calcium has been shown to aid bone health, help with weight loss, skin health, and reducing the risk of ccolorectal cancer and stroke. Some studies have even suggested that calcium intake is associated with longevity.
Both play a key role in supporting healthy bones.
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