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.
[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.