Low vitamin d may cause diabetes
Low Vitamin D May Cause Diabetes
May 11, 2014
 by Gabe Mirkin, MD

This month researchers showed that having low blood
levels of hydroxy vitamin D (below 26 mcg/L or 65
nmol/L) increases risk for diabetes (J Nutr,
2014;144(5):734-42). Vitamin D is necessary for
insulin to attach to its receptors on cells to drive
sugar from the bloodstream into cells. If insulin
cannot attach to its receptors, it cannot function,
causing blood sugar levels to rise very high.
 
This was an extremely well done study. They compared
many different risk factors for diabetes with blood
levels of vitamin D in 239 sedentary, postmenopausal
(average age 59.7), overweight women who did not
have diabetes. They found that blood levels of
hydroxy vitamin D below 26 mcg/L (65 nmol/L) were
associated with:
  being overweight,
  storing fat in the belly,
  having a greater percentage of body fat,
  storing fat in the liver,
  being physically unfit (low VO2max),
  having higher blood sugar levels,
  having higher blood insulin levels, and
  having high triglycerides.
 Low vitamin D levels were not linked to high blood
pressure, high LDL (bad) cholesterol or high total
cholesterol.
 
How Low Levels of Vitamin D can Lead to Diabetes
  Low levels of vitamin D prevent insulin from
attaching to its receptors on cells.
  Blood sugar levels rise too high, so the pancreas
releases large amounts of insulin.
  Blood insulin levels rise too high. Insulin
converts sugar to triglycerides, so
  Blood triglycerides rise too high.
  Triglycerides deposit in the liver to cause a
fatty liver. A fatty liver cannot accept sugar from
the bloodstream when blood sugar levels are high.
(The liver normally lowers high blood sugar levels
by accepting sugar from the bloodstream.)
  Blood sugar rises even higher. High blood sugar
levels cause sugar to attach to the outer membranes
of cells throughout your body and destroy them. This
cell destruction causes all of the terrible
consequences of diabetes: damage to nerves, kidneys,
liver, brain, eyes and other organs, amputations,
heart attacks and strokes.

(See also:
Muslce soreness exercise injury and vitamin D,
Take vitamin d pills only if you have a deficiency,
Vitamin d from sun exposure)