Higher blood levels of Vitamin D cut the risk of developing diabetes in men

September 04, 2008

     People with lower levels of vitamin D in their blood may be at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes according to researchers from the National Public Health Institute in Helsinki, Finland. The research found that men with the highest serum vitamin D levels were the least likely to develop type 2 diabetes 22 years later.
     Lack of vitamin D interferes with insulin secretion, and studies suggest a link between low vitamin D and diabetes the scientists note. But most research has been cross-sectional, meaning it only focused on a single time point. Prospective studies, which follow people over time, are a better way to investigate potentially causal relationships.
The researchers looked at men and women who were 40 to 74 years old and free of diabetes when they enrolled in a health examination survey. Investigators followed them for 22 years, during which time 412 developed type 2 diabetes.
     The researchers found that men in the top 25% of Vitamin D based on their blood levels were 72 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than men in the lowest 25%. No such relationship was seen for women. The study is published in the September 2008 issue of the journal Epidemiology.