The sunlight/vitamin D story continues to gain momentum, as a new study now suggests sun exposure and vitamin D levels significantly reduce the risk of childhood diabetes.
According to a report in the June 5 issue of Science Daily, “the researchers found that populations living at or near the equator, where there is abundant sunshine (and ultraviolet B irradiance) have low incidence rates of type 1 diabetes. Conversely, populations at higher latitudes, where available sunlight is scarcer, have higher incidence rates. These findings add new support to the concept of a role of vitamin D in reducing risk of this disease.”
The scientific journal “Diabetologia” published the study online June 5.
That report comes on the heels of a report this month suggesting that children need 10 times the amount of vitamin D currently recommended by the government’s Food & Nutrition Board to ensure proper bone health. The only way one could naturally attain vitamin D at those levels would be to get regular sun exposure during mid-day when the sun emits UVB.
According to Science Daily, “Type 1 diabetes is the second most common chronic disease in children, second only to asthma. Every day, 1.5 million Americans deal with type 1 diabetes and its complications.”
Dr. Cedric Garland, a University of California-San Diego researcher involved in the study, told Science Daily, “This research suggests that childhood type 1 diabetes may be preventable with a modest intake of vitamin D3 (1000 IU/day) for children, ideally with 5 to 10 minutes of sunlight around noontime, when good weather allows.”
Garland, a vitamin D research pioneer, continued, said infants under a year old should not be given more than 400 IU of vitamin D daily unless a doctor has been consulted.