According to a study conducted at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, sufficient vitamin D levels may help stave off type 1 diabetes.
“Previous studies proposed the existence of an association between vitamin D deficiency and risk of and Type 1 diabetes, but this is the first time that the theory has been tested in a way that provides the dose-response relationship,” said study author Cedric Garland, Dr.P.H., FACE.
The research, which lasted six years, analyzed nearly 2,000 blood serum specimens that were frozen by the Department of Defense Serum Registry, half of which came from people who were eventually diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The investigators were then able to compare the vitamin D levels of those who did and did not develop the condition and find out how much of the nutrient was necessary to reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
The researchers also noted that patients should consult with their physicians before increasing their vitamin D intake and they should avoid taking “mega doses” as well.
Vitamin D function and sources
According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin D’s function is to sustain the levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. It also helps to keep bones sturdy, increase mineral density and reduce the chance of fractures.
When children lack adequate vitamin D intake, they can develop rickets, which is when the bones become deformed. Adults who have a deficiency of the vitamin may develop osteomalacia, a condition that’s characterized by muscle and bone weakness.