Vitamin D is a very important nutrient for body health. Because it is hard to derived from food, many people take dietary supplement to reach the recommended daily dose.
But many people still have vitamin D deficiency, and this is common in Europe and Asian populations.
This is especially true if people in these areas live at high latitude, during the winter, or in cities with air pollutions.
Recent studies show that healthy vitamin D level in the blood is associated with less risk of type 2 diabetes.
For example, one study of European descent shows that in 8492 people with type 2 diabetes, a 25-nmol/l higher 25(OH)D concentration was linked to a 17% lower risk of diabetes.
In a new study published in PLOS Medicine, researchers examined this in much larger population in China (82500 people).
In addition, they combined analyses of 58000 people with type 2 diabetes and 370000 healthy people in Europe and China.
The researchers found that higher vitamin D status was related to lower risk of type 2 diabetes. This is in line with previous research.
Moreover, increased use of vitamin D supplements was associated with 14% lower risk of diabetes.
The researchers said that the findings have important implications for public health policies on food fortification with vitamin D for prevention of diabetes.
It is already know that vitamin D can help improve bone health and other health issues.
They think vitamin D supplement is a simple and cost-effective way to prevent type 2 diabetes in people who have vitamin D deficiency.
Some US studies are testing whether 4000 IU vitamin D can delay the type 2 diabetes in more than 2000 people with pre-diabetes.
Pre-diabetes is the precursor stage before type 2 diabetes. Usually not all the symptoms of diabetes occur.
It is associated with obesity, high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels. It is a metabolic syndrome.
People with pre-diabetes may feel hungry all the time, have blurred vision, slow healing of cuts or bruises, and have infections in gum, skin and bladder.
If the US tests are successful, it means vitamin D supplements may be a useful way to improve health of people with prediabetes.
Of course, further research about this topic is required and more meta-analysis studies are needed.
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