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Orlando Researchers Look at Vitamin D Supplements as Diabetes Prevention

Orlando researchers and patients will be taking part in a national study to determine whether vitamin D supplements can prevent diabetes. The National Institutes of Health is funding the study and Orlando has the only Florida research center participating.

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[Translational Research Institute lead investigator Dr. Richard Pratley]

The task for investigators at the Florida Hospital-Sanford Burnham Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes is, in a way, quite simple. Along with investigators at 20 other research facilities across the country- they are going to look at whether taking a vitamin D supplement can prevent diabetes.  Researcher Richard Pratley says existing studies suggest that’s the case. The body makes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but Pratley says many people when tested discover their vitamin D levels are low.

“So even though we live in Florida where we get plenty of sunshine, there are a fair number of people with vitamin D deficiency.  And in particular, people who are at risk for diabetes including people who are overweight are at higher risk for having low vitamin D levels, for reasons that we don’t understand,” he says.

The Translational Research Institute is currently recruiting 150- prediabetics for the study, which could last up to four years.  


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