No Link Between Vitamin D and Diabetes, Study Finds

A recent report on vitamin D from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), an independent scientific body that advises the U.S. government, said the evidence didn’t show that vitamin D has any health benefits beyond building and maintaining strong bones. It also said average Americans already have vitamin D blood levels at or above the amount that’s needed for good bone health.

These findings are corroborated by a new study ‒ published online by the journal Diabetes Care ‒ which found that low levels of vitamin D don’t put older women at greater risk for type 2 diabetes. The findings may further temper the enthusiasm for vitamin D that has built up in recent years.

Many studies have linked Vitamin D deficiency to lower risks of everything from diabetes, to severe asthma, heart disease, certain cancers and depression. But the problem with those studies is that they were observational ‒ which means that researchers simply looked at people’s vitamin D intake, or their blood levels of the vitamin, and whether or not they developed a given health condition. Those types of studies cannot prove that vitamin D was the reason for any lower disease risk.

That’s one reason why people should continue to focus on lowering their diabetes risk by looking at their overall lifestyle ‒ eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. Exercising outside and eating foods rich in vitamin D will also ensure that you’re getting enough of the vitamin. The IOM recommends that adults in their 70s and up get 800 IU of vitamin D per day, while everyone else older than 12 months should get 600 IU.

See my blogpost here

When I looked at the evidence, it appeared to me that IOM did a lousy job. The retrospective study you cite is really weak, it looked at the data from the WHI and tried to deduce a primary link. Given the confounding factors, the methods used seemed flawed and inherently unable to tease any strong relationship. In contrast, there are other studies which seem to strongly suggest vit D is “strongly” associated with diabetic conditions. This study showed that there is a mechanistic link between vit D concentrations and glucose homeostatis. And this study found an association between vit D and insulin resistance and beta cell dysfunction.

There has been a lot of criticism of the IOM on this topic. I have heard many professionals directly criticize the revised vitamin D recommendations as flawed and that many doctors still recommend normalizing serum vitamin D levels. The vitaminD council presents the case for raising the serum vitamin D levels and is worth reading even if you don’t agree with everything they say.

Personally, I found my serum vitamin D levels seriously low and even though I get plenty of sunlight exposure, I still require 8-10,000 IUs/day. Yes, that is something like 15x the amount recommended by the IOM. I think I’ll continue to ignore the IOM on this one.

Add my vote to bsc’s. My Vit D levels are still low even with supplementing with 10,000 IU of D3 daily. My doctor is having levels tested on all his patients, not just his diabetic patients. Granted a relatively small sampling, but he said not one showed sufficient levels. Sunlight provides about 20,000 units daily (if a light skinned person received sunlight for hours with most of their skin exposed), so 800 IU suggested is woefully low. I also agree with checking out the link to The Vit D Council for more info. According to The Vitamin D Council, after the age of 40 we lose our ability to convert sunlight to Vit D.

Thanks everyone…Living in the tropics, the problem was only of academic interest to me…now I know better…

You can’t get the D3 from foods… I was tested for low D and it came back very low, I have been on 50,000 weekly in the winter months and 50,000 every 2 weeks in the rest of the yr.
I have dark cloud covered months from OCT to here we are April and its still raining.

So I have to disagree with your therory it does nothing… Cure Diabetes, or keep you from it, never heard that, and depression, never heard that one either.

Also you have to have 90% of your skin showing to absorb it, and most adults don’t have the ability to absorb it.