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In type 2 diabetes, the body stops responding efficiently to insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar. To compensate for the insensitivity to insulin, many diabetes drugs work by boosting insulin levels; for example, by injecting more insulin or by increasing the amount of insulin secreted from the pancreas. The new study, published in the June 9 issue of PLoS ONE, showed that a different approach could also be effective for treating diabetes — namely, blocking the breakdown of insulin, after it is secreted from the pancreas.
The meta-analysis included data from eight observational cohort studies and 11 randomized controlled trials that involved diabetes and measuring vitamin D. The investigators, who were from Tufts Medical Center and Carney Hospital in Massachusetts, found that overall, individuals who consumed more than 500 International Units (IUs) per day of vitamin D had a 13 percent reduced risk of type 2 diabetes when compared with those who consumed less than 200 IU per day.