Vitamin D for Diabetes Prevention

Go on, head outside for a sunny spring walk: The vitamin D we get from everyday sunlight—as well as from fish, fortified milk, and supplements—may curb diabetes risk, suggests new research.
In the 17-year Finnish study, people with the highest blood levels of vitamin D reduced their chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 40 percent. Of the more than 4,000 people in the study, the 187 diagnosed with type 2 registered the lowest vitamin D levels, regardless of age, sex, or time of year.
The vitamin D effect remained even when the researchers controlled for education, smoking, body weight, blood pressure treatment, and exercise, though it weakened slightly.
Also interesting was a discovery that people who exercised the most also showed the highest vitamin D levels, says lead researcher Paul Knekt, PhD, of the National Public Health Institute in Helsinki.
Why might vitamin D be higher in exercisers? Is it due to more time jogging in the sun? A healthier, fish-rich diet in this health-conscious group? More vitamin D supplementation? Or might exercise itself affect the body’s vitamin D processing?
That’s all fodder for future research, says Knekt, as is the question of whether vitamin D can reverse type 2’s progression. “Similar studies should be replicated before we can make firm conclusions about the role of vitamin D in diabetes prevention,” Knekt says.
The findings were published in the October 2007 issue of Diabetes Care.

Just remember that as the sun is going lower in the sky it is more difficult to produce Vitamin D from the sun, so you’ll need to supplement over the winter. In the northern half of the US it is almost impossible to produce enough vitamin D from the sun as the sun’s rays aren’t strong enough.