Vitamin D deficiency is more closely related to developing type 2 diabetes than obesity, which is most commonly perceived to be associated with the disease, according to new research published in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Obese participants without diabetes had higher vitamin D levels than those with diabetes, while lean people with diabetes were more likely to have low vitamin D levels than those without diabetes. Overall, the research showed that vitamin D levels more closely correlated to blood sugar levels than body mass index, a measure of body fat.
“Our findings indicate that Vitamin D is associated more closely with glucose metabolism than obesity,” says co-author Manuel Macias-Gonzales. “This 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.”
Or, as coverage from Medical Daily puts it, “One easy step, then, to help you avoid a diabetes diagnosis is getting some sunshine.”
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