Study: People with optimal levels of vitamin D have lower diabetes incidence

NEUHERBERG, Germany — Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have shown that people with good vitamin D status have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to a study released Sept. 30.

The study, carried out in collaboration with the German Diabetes Center in Düsseldorf and the University of Ulm, will be published in the October issue of the journal Diabetes Care.

New research on participants of the study by the Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (KORA) has shown that people with good vitamin D status have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Inversely, people with too low levels of vitamin D in the blood have an elevated risk. This effect may be partly due to the anti-inflammatory effect of vitamin D, the authors reported.

“Vitamin D deficiency is relatively common in Germany because of modern lifestyle factors and the geographic latitude," stated Barbara Thorand of the Institute of Epidemiology II of Helmholtz Zentrum München. "Especially during the winter months, vitamin D levels are often inadequate due to the lack of sunlight,” she noted. “If follow-up studies confirm our findings, a targeted improvement of the vitamin D status of the population could also reduce the risk of diabetes.” 

More than 6 million people in Germany have Type 2 diabetes, the number of undiagnosed cases could be equally high, the report noted.


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