For years, most people have assumed that the main risk factor for Type 2 diabetes was obesity. Now, a Spanish study has come along that blows that assumption out of the water. According to the study, people are more likely to have Type 2 diabetes if they also have low levels of vitamin D, regardless of their weight. This suggests that vitamin D deficiency may be more productive to focus on than obesity when discussing Type 2 diabetes prevention.
The study, conducted by researchers from the Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Málaga (IBIMA) at two Spanish hospitals, compared a cross-section of data from 148 participants, including vitamin D biomarkers in their bloodstreams and the expression of vitamin D receptor genes in their adipose tissue. The researchers found that obese participants who were not diabetic were more likely to have normal levels of vitamin D in their bodies, while participants with low BMIs who did have diabetes tended to have low vitamin D levels.
Study author Manuel Macías-González of the University of Málaga said in a statement, "Our findings indicate that vitamin D is associated more closely with glucose metabolism than obesity. The study suggests that vitamin D deficiency and obesity interact synergistically to heighten the risk of diabetes and other metabolic disorders. The average person may be able to reduce their risk by maintaining a healthy diet and getting enough outdoor activity."
According to ScienceDaily, vitamin D deficiency is a serious problem worldwide, with more than 1 billion people estimated to suffer from it due to low levels of exposure to natural light, which allows the body to produce the crucial nutrient naturally.
Click here for our selection of vitamin D supplements to help you reach your recommended daily amount of vitamin D during these dark months.