Latest News » Increased vitamin D consumption may reduce type 1 diabetes risk, study shows

Adding more vitamin D to your diet may reduce the risk of type 1 diabetes.

As well as promoting overall health on a day-to-day basis, the vitamins and minerals we consume can also have a substantial impact on our physical and mental abilities later on in life. This is precisely why it is so important for infants, children and young adults to adopt healthy eating habits at such an early age. Certain long-term connections, such as calcium consumption and the risk of osteoporosis, are relatively well-known. Recently, though, researchers have unearthed another dietary link.

According to a study from the Harvard School of Public Health, people who do not consume enough vitamin D in their diet may face a greater risk of developing type 1 diabetes. Previously referred to as juvenile-onset diabetes, this form of the condition is significantly less common than type 2, or adult-onset diabetes. Of the 25.8 million people currently living with this condition in the United States, the American Diabetes Association states that only 5 percent have the juvenile form.

And, based on recent findings, that number may become even smaller. Harvard researchers reportedly examined the blood samples of military personnel that were collected as part of a study more than 20 years ago. A portion of those participants developed type 2 diabetes in the years following the initial sampling, so the researchers contrasted their current blood makeup with the previous tests on file. In doing so, they were able to establish that the individuals with higher levels of vitamin D were half as likely to develop the chronic autoimmune issue.

“It is surprising that a serious disease such as type 1 diabetes could perhaps be prevented by a simple and safe intervention,” nutrition researcher and lead author Kassandra Munger explained in the press release.

Interestingly, the researchers also found that even individuals with adequate levels of the sunshine vitamin experienced the same risk – it was only those with high amounts that saw the greatest benefit. This discovery led the scientists to recommend a population-wide increase in vitamin D consumption. As well as potentially reducing this risk, vitamin D has also been associated with improvements in mood, and facilitates the absorption of calcium for bone health.

Click to read information about our vitamin D supplements, as well as multivitamins for adults and children.