Low Levels of Vitamin D May Increase your Risk of Developing Diabetes

Scientists found that people considered vitamin D deficient were at five times greater risk of developing type II diabetes. Diabetes mellitus type 2 is a serious, chronic, metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar, insulin resistance, and lack of insulin. Serious complications caused by type 2 diabetes include, organ damage, heart attack, stroke, blindness and kidney failure.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego and Seoul National University followed 903 healthy adults, with no evidence of diabetes, from 1997 through 2009. During office visits vitamin D levels in blood were measured as well as glucose levels. Over the course of 10-12 years there were 47 new cases of diabetes and 337 new cases of pre-diabetes, meaning blood sugar levels were higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.

For the purpose of the study, researchers defined vitamin D deficiency to be less than 30 nanograms per milliliter although there is currently no consensus for defining vitamin D deficiency. Results showed that persons with vitamin D levels above 50 nanograms per milliliter were five times less likely to develop type II diabetes than those with levels below 30 ng/ml. That risk dropped even more if blood levels of vitamin D were above 75 ng/ml.

According to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF), persons at risk for vitamin D deficiency include those with; low vitamin D intake, decreased vitamin D absorption, little or no sun exposure, obesity and darker skin pigmentation. Prevalence rates of low vitamin D are 2 to 9 time higher in African Americans and 2 to 3 times higher in Hispanics. Although the study could not show cause and effect, it is interesting to note that compared to non-Hispanic whites, the risk for diabetes is 77% higher for African Americans and 66% higher among Hispanic Americans.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s stored in the liver and fatty tissues that impact our bone structure, blood pressure, immunity, mood and brain function. Unlike other vitamins, rather than relying on food, our bodies make most of our vitamin D. However, if you are unable to produce sufficient levels of vitamin D here are some additional sources:

  1. Sunlight
  2. Halibut
  3. Carp Fish
  4. Mackerel
  5. Eel
  6. Maitake Mushrooms or Portobella Mushrooms (exposed to UV light)
  7. Salmon
  8. Whitefish
  9. Swordfish
  10. Rainbow Trout
  11. Cod Liver Oil
  12. Sardines
  13. Tuna
  14. Eggs
  15. Raw Milk


Stem cell therapy at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute may help improve the symptoms associated with type II diabetes. The Stem Cells Transplant Institute uses adult, autologous mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of type II diabetes. Mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to differentiate, self-renew, suppress the immune system, reduce inflammation, and repair tissues and are considered an ideal candidate for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of stem cell therapy, contact the experts at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute for additional information.

According to the CDC the following cities have the highest rates of type II diabetes; Brownsville, TX; Pharr, TX; Laredo, TX; Compton, CA; Lynwood, CA; Albany GA; Edinburg, TX; and South Gate, CA.  Individuals from California, Texas and Georgia can access daily direct flights to Costa Rica out of Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas and Atlanta.


Journal Reference:

Sue K. Park, Cedric F. Garland, Edward D. Gorham, Luke BuDoff, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor. Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration and risk of type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes: 12-year cohort study. PLOS ONE, 2018; 13 (4): e0193070 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.019307