Vitamin D prevents diabetes: Scientists call for intake to be raised

  • People with vitamin levels above 30ng/ml blood have one-third the risk 
  • Those with levels above 50ng/ml have one-fifth the risk of deficient people
  • Some 77% of adults in the US are deficient in vitamin D; double the rate of 1980
  • Previous research suggests vitamin D strengths people’s immune systems
  • Type 1 diabetes occurs when people’s immune systems attack their insulin cells  

High vitamin D levels significantly reduce people’s risk of diabetes, new research suggests.

Lead author Dr Sue Park, from Seoul National University, said: ‘We found that participants with blood levels of [vitamin D] that were above 30 ng/ml had one-third of the risk of diabetes and those with levels above 50 ng/ml had one-fifth of the risk of developing diabetes.’

The researchers argue their findings suggest adults should have at least 30ng of vitamin D per millimetre of blood, which is 10ng/ml higher than the level recommended by the Institute of Medicine. 

Some 77 percent of adults in the US are deficient in vitamin D, which is double the rate of 1980. 

Previous research suggests vitamin D strengths people’s immune systems. 

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition that occurs when a person’s body attacks the cells that produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes is more related to lifestyle factors, such as carrying too much weight. 

High vitamin D levels significantly reduce people’s risk of diabetes, research suggests (stock)


Women can cut their risk of an early menopause by eating oily fish and eggs, research suggested in May 2017.

A high vitamin D intake via food and supplements lowers the risk by 17 percent, a study found.

Vitamin D is thought to slow the ageing of women’s ovaries.

Calcium-rich foods make women 13 percent less likely to suffer, the research adds.

Around one in 10 women go through the menopause before the age of 45, increasing their risk of osteoporosis and heart disease, and reducing their chances of conceiving. 

The researchers analysed 116,430 female health workers over two decades.

Their diet was recorded in food questionnaires five times over that period, during which 2,041 women entered the menopause. 

Lead author Alexandra Purdue-Smithe, from the University of Massachusetts, said:  ‘Scientists are looking for anything that can reduce the risk of early menopause and things like diet, which can be easily altered, have wide-ranging implications for women.’

The main natural source of vitamin D is sunlight, however, it also appears in oily fish, egg yolks and fortified cereals. 

Dairy products are not fortified with the vitamin in the UK. 

How the research was carried out   

The researchers analysed 903 healthy adults with an average age of 74 between 1997 and 1999.

The participants were followed until 2009.  

Their vitamin D and glucose levels were measured during regular visits. 

The participants’ blood vitamin D levels were assessed in a previous study between 1977 and 1979. 

All of the participants were Caucasian and living in southern California.    

The findings were published in the journal PLOS One. 

Vitamin D ‘is a very inexpensive solution to repair the cardiovascular system’ 

This comes after research released last January suggested vitamin D is an ‘inexpensive solution’ to drugs.

Scientists discovered the sunshine supplement repairs and prevents damage to the heart caused by diabetes and high blood pressure.

Vitamin D stimulates the production of nitric acid, which is involved in regulating blood flow and preventing the formation of clots, according to the first study of its kind.

It also reduces ‘internal stress’ in the cardiovascular system, which could avoid heart-related incidents, the research adds.

Study author Dr Tadeusz Malinski, from Ohio University, said: ‘There are not many, if any, known systems which can be used to restore cardiovascular cells which are already damaged, and vitamin D can do it.

‘This is a very inexpensive solution to repair the cardiovascular system. 

‘We don’t have to develop a new drug. We already have it.’