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Vitamin D Could Help Prediabetics Avoid Developing Type-2 Diabetes

In a large scale study, researchers have found that people who are prediabetic and have vitamin D deficiencies are at significantly higher risk for developing type-2 diabetes than people with high levels of vitamin D.

Prediabetes is when a person's blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be type 2 diabetes. People with prediabetes are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and may have some problems from diabetes already.

The study was conducted at the Karolinksa Institut in Sweden and was published online ahead of print on March 17, 2012, in the journal Diabetologia.

Participants in the study included 980 women and 1398 men between the ages of 35 and 56. None of the participants were diagnosed with diabetes at the onset of the study.

The researchers took blood samples and tested for vitamin D , insulin growth factor and insulin growth factor-binding protein-1 levels at the beginning of the study and then monitored the participants for the next 8 to 10 years. They also surveyed the participants to gather lifestyle data.

They found that prediabetic men in the highest quartile of serum levels of vitamin D were significantly less likely to develop type-2 diabetes. No such effect was seen for men with normal glucose tolerance.

For both men and women, it was found that every 10 nmol/l increase of vitamin D resulted in a 25% reduction in the risk of progressing from prediabetes to type-2 diabetes. The researchers concluded that vitamin D supplementation could reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes for individuals with prediabetes, but not for individuals with normal glucose tolerance.

Consumption of vitamin D has been linked to improved kidney health, reductions in skin cancer, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, improved cardiovascular health, combating diabetes, and improved age related eye degeneration.

Many foods are fortified with vitamin D such as milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process vitamin D as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is a viable option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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