Lack of vitamin D can lead to diabetes

Updated at: Oct 03, 2012
Lack of vitamin D can lead to diabetes

Researches and studies have shown that vitamin D can lead to diabetes. Read to know more!

Arka Roy Chowdhury
DiabetesWritten by: Arka Roy ChowdhuryPublished at: Oct 03, 2012

Although it is known as a vitamin, vitamin D in its true sense is not an essentially dietary vitamin. It can in fact be synthesized in adequate amount from sunlight by mammals. Most times an organic chemical compound is called a vitamin when it cannot be synthesized by a mammal naturally. This vitamin is now in the middle of  a very important medical debate, can its deficiency lead to diabetes?


[Read: Diabetics with Low Vitamin D have High Risk of Death]


Modern researchers have found that with lower vitamin D level one is likely to get obese and have a high degree of insulin resistance, and once you are unable to produce insulin you develop type 1 diabetes. This happens when the hormone becomes less effective with lower blood sugar. Your immune system invariably begins to attack and kill your own insulin producing cells in the pancreas, reacting as if they are invading viruses that must be destroyed.


Evidence –


Researchers who have investigated the vitamin D level in patients suffering from type 1 diabetes have found it to be at a very low level. They also found through consistent research that children who received 2000 I.U. of vitamin D in the first few years of their lives had almost an 80% less chance of suffering from type1 diabetes in comparison to those children who did not.


[Read: Complications of Type 1 Diabetes]


The Vitamin in Question -  


There are two biological precursors for vitamin D and they are and D2 (egocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Out of the two, D3 which is produced in the skin on exposure to UVB radiation is considered to be more bioactive.


Relation with Type2 –


As we know lifestyle factors, such as old age, obesity and a drop in physical activities causes type2 diabetes. It has also been found that these factors also cause a drop in vitamin D! Vitamin D is effective in the following ways:


  • It acts on the insulin producing cells and helps them produce more insulin in the pancreas
  • It acts on the muscle and fats cells to improve insulin action by reducing insulin resistance
  • Reduces inflammation which is commonly present in patients with Insulin Resistance Syndrome and Type 2 diabetes
  • Improves the level of calcium in the cells thereby improving insulin production and action.


The above functions that have been listed to highlight the importance of vitamin D in keeping the glucose level normal. The deficiency of vitamin D plays a very big role in pushing you to the depths of diabetes.


Read: Understand Diabetes




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