Are you deficient in Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin? Beware, you may be at a greater risk of developing diabetes, warn researchers.
A team of researchers found that individuals with 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels below 30 ng/ml in blood plasma were at up to five times greater risk for developing diabetes than people with levels above 50 ng/ml.
“We found that participants with blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D that were above 30 ng/ml had one-third of the risk of diabetes and those with levels above 50 ng/ml had one-fifth of the risk of developing diabetes,” said lead author Sue K. Park from the Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea.
For the findings, reported in the journal PLOS One, the team examined a cohort of 903 healthy adults (mean age: 74) with no indications of either pre-diabetes or diabetes.
The researchers identified the minimum healthy level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in blood plasma to be 30 nanogrammes per millilitre (ng/ml) and found to reach this, dietary supplements of 3,000 to 5,000 international units (IU) per day, less with the addition of moderate daily sun exposure with minimal clothing (approximately 10-15 minutes per day outdoors at noon) would be required.
The current recommended average daily amount of Vitamin D is 400 IU for children up to one year; 600 IU for ages one to 70 years (less for pregnant or breastfeeding women) and 800 IU for persons over 70, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Higher daily amounts of Vitamin D are generally considered safe, but blood serum levels exceeding 125 ng/ml have been linked to adverse side effects, such as nausea, constipation, weight loss, heart rhythm problems and kidney damage, the researchers said.