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Study Finds Vitamin D May Not Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Although previous research has found that lower vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, a new study has found that lower vitamin D levels may not actually cause or contribute to the disease. Published online in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, the study investigated the effect of four genetic variants on diabetes risk; these are variants that exist among individuals and are associated with higher or lower vitamin D levels. Using this type of gene-based analysis, the researchers did not find a statistically significant relationship between vitamin D and type 2 diabetes; they concluded, therefore, that the previously found link between vitamin D and type 2 diabetes is likely to be merely a correlation, and not a cause-and-effect relationship. However, there are a few important points to consider when evaluating these results:

  • Vitamin D is still an extremely important nutrient. Researchers have found, for example, that it reduces the risk of all-cause mortality (the risk of dying from any cause), colon cancer, and bone fracture.
  • The new study relied on genetic variants as a marker for vitamin D levels; it did not asses vitamin D levels directly, and was not a placebo-controlled study involving vitamin D supplements.
  • While vitamin D has not been a primary nutrient in treating type 2 diabetes, there is still plenty of ongoing research to further investigate its effect on diabetes prevention and management, including trials involving vitamin D supplements.

Source: Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2021.