Low Vitamin D Increases Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Vitamin D deficiency is putting Australians at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a landmark study has shown.

The largest study of its kind found people with higher levels of vitamin D in their blood were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with lower levels.

The study’s co-author Ken Sikaris, a pathologist at Melbourne Pathology, said the research could have a big impact in slowing increasing rates of diabetes in Australia. “It’s hard to underestimate how important this might be,” he said.

Between a third and a fifth of the Australian population could be vitamin D deficient and rates were highest in the southern states, which received less sunlight, Dr Sikaris said.

The research, which tested the blood of 5200 people, found every increase of 25 nanomoles of vitamin D per litre of blood (nmol/L) equated to a 24 per cent reduced risk of diabetes, another co-author, Zhong Lu, a pathologist at Monash Medical Centre and Melbourne Pathology, said.

People with a level of vitamin D in their blood that is less than 50 nmol/L are technically deficient, although the threshold for deficiency should be set much higher.

The study discussed was published in the journal Diabetes Care and presented by Dr Lu at a conference of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.

Retested blood samples taken as part of the major AusDiab study of risk factors for diabetes found vitamin D deficiency was an independent risk factor, even after adjusting for other known risk factors, such as weight and physical inactivity.

The AusDiab study, which was made between 1999 and 2005 and is the most recent to widely test for diabetes, revealed that 7.4 per cent of Australians over 25 suffered with Type 2 Diabetes.

Peter Ebeling, the chair of the NorthWest academic centre at the University of Melbourne and Western Health, said that in light of the findings he was conducting a trial to test whether vitamin D supplements could help prevent diabetes.

He was attempting to increase the vitamin D concentrations in the blood of a group of 100 people with pre-diabetes to 75 nmol/L.

Professor Ebeling said such research had progressed slowly in the past because it had not attracted funding, particularly from drug companies.


Emed’s Comment:


A study that has been reported to the public explaining the significance of vitamin D deficiency on our metabolic health.

And even so, the levels quoted by the researchers are much lower than optimal. Technical “deficiency” is quoted as less than 50nmol/L, however I would consider anything less than 100nmol/L to be suboptimal.

Nevertheless, even small increases in vitamin D seem to have a protective effect against diabetes and this study could lead to at-risk patients using vitamin D supplements along with diet and exercise to stop their development of the potentially deadly condition.

We’ve said it before and we will say it again. Get your levels tested people!

A large portion of the Australian population is at risk of vitamin D deficiency because of our tendency to avoid sun exposure as well as our poor dietary choices, increasing obesity epidemic and long working hours (indoors).

The best and safest way to ensure you have adequate vitamin D levels is by measuring serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations (through a blood test) and providing relative high potency vitamin D supplementation if needed.

It’s not hard. Everybody needs to check their vitamin D levels and if those levels are below optimal, then you NEED to take a good vitamin D supplement.

Every aspect of your health will suffer if you don’t.

Vitamin D doesn’t just help with diabetes prevention either…

Conditions relating to vitamin D deficiency:

  • Osteoporosis and rickets
  • Chronic pain and inflammation
  • Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Diabetes (types 1, 2 and gestational)
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Pre-eclampsia and hypertension
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and other autoimmune diseases
  • Psoriasis
  • Poor immunity and recurrent infections


Vitamin D supplements are very economical. Click here to see Emed’s Best Vitamin D Supplements.

In clinic we have found that some of our patients have been previously taking inferior forms of vitamin D for months on end and their levels don’t change – I wonder why?

Emed’s Vitamin D supplements all contain the D3 form of the vitamin, which is the active form that works the best and gets your levels up the quickest.


What dosage should I take?

  • 1000IU per day to achieve serum vitamin D levels around 70nmol/L
  • 4000IU per day to achieve serum vitamin D levels around 100nmol/L
  • For moderate to severe vitamin D deficiency: 3000-6000IU per day for 6-12 weeks, followed by a maintenance dose of 1000IU per day


What should my vitamin D level be?

Vitamin D3 status is assessed via a blood test measuring serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D]

Children: 25(OH)D > 50nmol/L

Adults: 25(OH)D > 75nmol/L however research shows that some measures of health may only improve at higher levels, > 100nmol/L

Talk to your Emed practitioner today about what your levels should be.


Did You Know?

There is no shortage of evidence supporting vitamin D’s role in immunity.

Vitamin D promotes the activity of a range of immune cells such as macrophages, and can improve production of cathelicidin, an antimicrobial produced by immune cells.

These properties have translated into many great results in clinical trials on vitamin D and common winter illnesses.

In one trial, volunteers who had low blood serum levels of vitamin D reported higher amounts of recent upper respiratory tract infections (URTI).

In another trial, vitamin D supplementation (1200IU/day) reduced the incidence of influenza A in schoolchildren.

For the pregnant patient, ensuring adequate vitamin D status reduces the risk of acute lower respiratory infection.

The overall theme of vitamin D’s role in immunity is that it can enhance the response of the immune system to both bacterial and viral pathogens.

So what are you waiting for? Get D-FENSIVE against those winter illnesses.


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