There may be a connection between low vitamin D levels and diabetes. According to research appearing in the American Journal Clinical Nutrition, there may be a connection between vitamin D deficiency and diabetes. The study involved 126 glucose tolerant Californians. Insulin sensitivity index (ISI) and first- andsecond-phase insulin responses (1stIR and 2ndIR) were assessedby using a hyperglycemic clamp. The authors concluded that there was a positive correlation of vitamin D concentration with insulin sensitivity. There was a negative effectof low vitamin D levels on pancreatic ß cell function. Subjectswith inadequate vitamin D are at higher risk of insulin resistanceand the metabolic syndrome. Further studies are required to explore the underlying mechanisms.

Maternal vitamin D levels may even affect the developing fetus. A case-control study appearing in Diabetes (epublished ahead of print Nov 28, 2011) looked at the vitamin D levels of 328 Norwegian women during pregnancy, 109 of whom gave birth to a child who developed type 1 diabetes.  The odds of having a child develop type 1 diabetes were more than two times greater in the women with the lowest serum vitamin D levels when compared to those with the highest vitamin D levels.