Vitamin D production is the body’s response to natural sunlight, although it does occur in certain foods such as salmon and eggs. The vitamin is best known for regulating calcium levels and for helping the body to release endorphins, otherwise known as our happy hormones.
The study followed over 5,000 individuals for a period of 5 years, and found that those with a low average of vitamin D levels had a 57 per cent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes when compared to those with the recommended levels.
Dr. Claudia Gagnon, a fellow at the Western Hospital at the University of Melbourne in Australia and lead author of the study, said: “Studies like ours have suggested that blood levels of vitamin D higher than what is recommended for bone health may be necessary to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”
As it stands the Institute of Medicine recommend that adults get 600 IU of vitamin D each day in order to maintain optimum circulating levels.
Gagnon has said that further tests are needed to determine whether or not Vitamin D supplements will be able to counteract this effect and make a difference in diabetes risk, but for now the advice is to exercise and eat a healthy diet including vitamin D rich foods.