Vitamin D and diabetes: the odd couple

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Nov;24(11):561-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2013.07.002. Epub 2013 Aug 21.


The beneficial effects of vitamin D supplementation for several health-related issues, including the prevention of diabetes, are a topic of intense discussion. Data from epidemiological studies suggest a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and higher prevalence of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes (T1D and T2D). In animal models, vitamin D deficiency predisposes to diabetes whereas vitamin D supplementation prevents disease. Nevertheless, well-designed clinical intervention studies are lacking. We discuss here the evidence for a role of vitamin D in diabetes and propose that vitamin D deficiency should be avoided, especially in all at-risk people. This should be possible by implementing global guidelines and by focusing on daily dietary supplementation with small doses of vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / prevention & control


  • Vitamin D