Vitamin D and Diabetes: Myths and Facts
Vitamin D and diabetes are often linked together. Those with a lack of vitamin D levels in the blood have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. Meeting the recommended amount of vitamin D in the diet may also reduce the complications for those who are already diagnosed with the condition.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that is the result of an unsatisfactory secretion of insulin, a hormone that is produced in the pancreas gland.
This hormone's primary function is to aid the metabolism and breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose.
In the absence of the insulin, glucose is not transferred into the cell, causing an increase of glucose in the blood plasma. This increase of glucose in the plasma is known as hyperglycemia.
Studies show that individuals with insufficient vitamin D levels in their blood are at risk of developing diabetes. Those with plenty of vitamin D decrease their risk of developing heart diseases and diabetes by half. Researchers have found that those with lower vitamin D levels had a 50% increased chance of developing type 2 diabetes in comparison to individuals with who had recommended vitamin D levels. However, it should be noted that a lack of vitamin D is not the only cause of diabetes. General diet and family history also play a part. The most important factors to avoid the development of diabetes is to avoid inactivity and obesity.
Sufficient amounts of vitamin D can reduce the risk of diabetes. Individuals who have lower levels of vitamin D should consider either taking supplements, eating diets rich in the vitamin D (such as fortified dairy products and salmon), or get some sunlight exposure.