According to US scientists, High intake of calcium and vitamin D, particularly from supplements, may lower the risk of diabetes by 33 per cent.
Professor Roger Bouillon from the University of Leuven reported (at the European Congress of Endocrinology in Glasgo), that more than a billion people of all ages worldwide are vitamin D deficient.
Leading researcher Anastassios Pitas, from the Tufts-New England Medical Center, found that dietary intake of vitamin D did not result in a statistically significant benefit. But women who consumed from that 400 IU vitamin D per day from supplements had a 13 per cent lower risk of diabetes, compared to women who consumed less than 100 IU per day.
Both dietary calcium and supplements were associated with significant decreased risks of type 2 diabetes, with women who had total daily intakes of calcium greater than 1,200 milligrams had a 21 per cent lower risk compared to women who had intakes less than 600 mg per day.
The mechanism as to why vitamin D and calcium may reduce the risk of diabetes is not clear, but the researchers proposed that the two nutrients work together. Vitamin D facilitates calcium absorption in the intestine, while calcium is reported play a role in normalising glucose intolerance.