People with a good supply of
vitamin D have a lower risk of
developing Type 2 diabetes;
© panthermedia.net/Andreas Meng
Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have shown that people with a good vitamin D supply are at lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes mellitus. The study was conducted in cooperation with the German Diabetes Centre and the University of Ulm.
New tests performed on participants of the KORA study have shown that people with a good supply of vitamin D have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes mellitus, while individuals with lower concentrations of vitamin D in their blood have a higher risk. This effect could be attributable, amongst other things, to the anti-inflammatory effect of vitamin D. The result of the study could have direct consequences for the prevention of this common disease.
“Vitamin D deficiency is relatively widespread due to our modern way of life and the geographical latitude of Germany. In the winter months, in particular, people often do not receive adequate supplies of the vitamin because of the lack of sunlight,” explains Barbara Thorand of the Helmholtz Zentrum München. “If follow-up studies confirm our results, a targeted improvement in the supply of vitamin D to the general public could at the same time reduce the risk of developing diabetes.”
The human body can produce vitamin D itself if it has sufficient exposure to sunlight. The UVB radiation in natural daylight splits the precursor of vitamin D, 7-dehydrocholesterol, in the skin and forms pro-vitamin D3. Further vitamin D synthesis occurs in the liver and kidneys. In addition, the supply can be improved by eating specific foods, such as oily fish, eggs and milk products, or by taking vitamin D supplements.
More than six million people in Germany suffer from Type 2 diabetes mellitus, and the number of undiagnosed cases could be equally high. Up to now, there has been no cure for this common disease. Type 2 diabetes is a disorder of glucose metabolism. It is characterised by a loss of insulin action and a drop in the levels of the hormone produced by the body. The mechanisms that trigger the disease have not yet been fully clarified. However, it is known that diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. The objective of the Helmholtz Zentrum München is to understand the mechanisms that cause common diseases and to develop new approaches with regard to their diagnosis, therapy and prevention.
REHACARE.de; Source: Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen - German Research Centre for Environmental Health