As an increasing number of people develop Type 2 diabetes we have learnt from doctors that the best way to tackle this problem is by losing weight, however it could be that sunshine plays just an important part in diabetes as obesity.
A new study from Spanish researchers has found that a lack of sunshine can increase the risk of diabetes more than weight.
The link between sunshine and Type 2 diabetes comes through levels of vitamin D. People can get vitamin D from the sun and the study found that those with normal levels of vitamin D in their bodies were less likely to have elevated sugar levels as found in those who are pre-diabetic and in those with type 2 diabetes.
The study also warned that anyone with a low level of vitamin D in their body was also more likely to be overweight or obese.
According to a report by the Daily Mail vitamin D also plays a crucial part in the risk of metabolic syndrome – a medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity – is also increased. Metabolic syndrome puts a person at greater risk of heart disease, stroke and other conditions affecting blood vessels.
Vitamin D is widely known as the “sunshine vitamin” and this new study has shown that there are considerable links between this, weight and diabetes.
According to the Daily Mail, this is because there was a direct link between low vitamin D levels and how the body metabolised glucose. Obese people who did not have diabetes or another blood sugar disorder had higher levels of vitamin D than the participants with diabetes.
Equally, slimmer participants in the study who were found to have diabetes or another pre-diabetes disorder were more likely to have low levels of vitamin D in their system.
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the body including controlling levels of calcium to keep bones healthy while also working to regulate the immune system for over all good health.
Most people are able to get enough vitamin D by spending time in the sunshine as the vitamin is formed under the skin as it reacts to sunlight. It is also possible to find small amounts of vitamin D in certain foods such as oily fish and eggs.
Dr Manuel Macías-González, of the University of Malaga, Spain, said in the Daily Mail report: ‘Our findings indicate that vitamin D is associated more closely with glucose metabolism than obesity.
‘The study suggests that vitamin D deficiency and obesity interact synergistically to heighten the risk of diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
‘The average person may be able to reduce their risk by maintaining a healthy diet and getting enough outdoor activity.’