Role of vitamin D in the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes

Curr Diab Rep. 2013 Apr;13(2):261-70. doi: 10.1007/s11892-012-0358-4.


Vitamin D deficiency is mainly a consequence of insufficient sunlight induced vitamin D production in the skin and has been associated with various chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes. Experimental data have shown that vitamin D is important for glucose induced insulin secretion, improves insulin resistance, and exerts anti-inflammatory actions. Epidemiological studies have largely documented that a poor vitamin D status is associated with higher risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. The majority of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in healthy or prediabetic individuals have, however, failed to demonstrate relevant vitamin D effects on insulin resistance or diabetes incidence. In patients with type 2 diabetes, a few RCTs reported some moderate effects of vitamin D on glycemic control and insulin resistance. While these findings warrant further in-depth studies, the current evidence is insufficient to recommend vitamin D supplementation for the prevention or treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Vitamin D / metabolism*
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications


  • Vitamin D