Study shows that vitamin D can help lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes


The prospect of developing type 2 diabetes is a frightening one given all that managing the disease entails. For many people, it will involve regular finger prick tests and a host of complications to worry about, including kidney and nerve damage and a higher risk of stroke and heart disease. That’s why preventing it is so essential – and a recent study shows that vitamin D can help you stay diabetes-free.

It has already been established that vitamin D can help with insulin sensitivity and pancreatic beta-cell function, so Brazilian researchers decided to carry out a cross-sectional study to uncover the link between vitamin D deficiency and blood sugar.

They looked at 680 women between the ages of 35 and 74 in total. They found a negative association between vitamin D supplementation and high glucose levels, meaning those who took vitamin D had lower glucose levels. The same effect was seen in those who reported habitual exposure to the sun, which boosts your body’s vitamin D production.

In the study, which was published in the journal Menopause, they found that a vitamin D deficiency is associated with high levels of blood glucose.

This supports the finding of a University of Warwick study that showed how vitamin D can impact not only your diabetes risk but also your chances of developing heart disease. In that study, scientists carried out a systematic literature review of exiting research. After examining 29 studies that encompassed nearly 100,000 people of both genders across a wide range of ethnicities, they discovered a significant association between higher levels of vitamin D and the risk of several diseases. Specifically, those who had high levels of vitamin D enjoyed a 55 percent lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes, a 51 percent lower change of metabolic syndrome, and a 33 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Are you getting enough vitamin D?

Roughly three-fourths of American adults and teens are believed to be deficient in vitamin D, so it isn’t really surprising to see diabetes cases climbing in the country. It’s a problem that has become more pronounced over the years, especially as people spend more and more time indoors stuck at their desks working or glued to their electronics devices.

Another big factor in widespread vitamin D deficiency is the growing use of sunscreen as people worry about skin cancer. A sunscreen with an SPF of 15 can block your skin’s production of vitamin D by 99 percent, and many people use sunscreen of a much higher SPF every time they step outside.

Complicating matters further is the fact that there simply aren’t a lot of good dietary sources of vitamin D. While foods like mackerel, tuna and salmon do provide modest amounts of this vitamin, it is very difficult to consume enough of them to get the amounts your body needs.

While vitamin D supplements are available, it’s far better to get it the natural way by exposing your bare skin to sunlight and prompting your body to create its own. There is no set formula for just how long you need to spend outdoors as that will depend on where you live, your skin tone, how much skin is exposed, the time of day, and even the cloud cover on any given day. However, as a general guideline, anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes of midday sunlight a few times a week should do the trick.

If you want to reduce your chances of suffering from type 2 diabetes, you need to get outside and get some vitamin D – and if you can spend that time in the sun exercising, you’ll decrease your risk even further!

Sources for this article include:

ScienceDaily.com

ScienceDaily.com

ScientificAmerican.com



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