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Blood testing reveals that individuals who have low levels of vitamin D are significantly more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, according to new research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Previous studies have shown that individuals who have type 2 diabetes have high rates of vitamin D deficiency, but it has not been clear which condition preceded the other. For the first time, researchers are reporting that poor nutritional status may precipitate the development of metabolic problems.
For the study, a team of researchers from the University of Texas examined the health of nearly 500 obese and non-obese young people. The results showed that the obese participants had much lower levels of vitamin D and that they had other risk factors for diabetes like high blood pressure, low insulin levels and elevated glucose.
"Our study found that obese children with lower vitamin D levels had higher degrees of insulin resistance," said lead researcher Micah Olson. "Although our study cannot prove causation, it does suggest that low vitamin D levels may play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes."
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