A new study from the University of Cambridge in the UK challenges findings of earlier research that concludes having higher levels of circulating vitamin D might prevent type 2 diabetes.
These earlier observational studies raised suggestions that low vitamin D contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes. But because they were not designed to investigate cause and effect, they could not prove it: they could only establish a link.
Now a large genetic study published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, concludes there is no evidence that a person's low level of vitamin D leads them to develop type 2 diabetes.
The researchers found no evidence of a link between the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and the different gene variants that control blood levels of vitamin D.
They also found no links between varying levels of vitamin D and several features of type 2 diabetes, such as glucose and glycated hemoglobin, and neither did they find evidence that low vitamin D causes the disease.
Dr. Forouhi says their results echo those of randomized controlled trials - the classic way to test cause and effect links - which have generally concluded taking vitamin D supplements does not stop people developing type 2 diabetes.
"Our findings suggest that interventions to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by increasing concentrations of vitamin D are not currently justified," she notes.
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