Tufts researchers have identified a surprising factor in diabetes risk that might help keep people with pre-diabetes from developing the disease: vitamin D.
In a new study, high-risk patients with the highest blood levels of vitamin D were 28% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with the lowest levels. Tufts’ Anastassios Pittas, MD, and colleagues studied 2,039 participants in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). Unlike past studies that measured vitamin D status only once, blood levels of vitamin D were tested multiple times over an average 2.7 years.
After adjusting for other diabetes risk factors and for the DPP lifestyle interventions in half the participants, those in the top third of vitamin D status were significantly less likely to progress to diabetes. “The findings are very promising but do not prove cause and effect,” Dr. Pittas cautions, “and the evidence to support general supplementation with vitamin D for diabetes prevention does not currently exist.”
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*reference: Consumer Reports Health, Diabetes Care