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Vitamin D and Calcium Intake in Relation to Type 2 Diabetes in Women

OBJECTIVE — The purpose of this study was to prospectively examine the association between vitamin D and calcium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS — In the Nurses’ Health Study, we followed 83,779 women who had no history of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer at baseline for the development of type 2 diabetes. Vitamin D and calcium intake from diet and supplements was assessed every 2–4 years. During 20 years of follow-up, we documented 4,843 incident cases of type 2 diabetes.

RESULTS — After adjusting for multiple potential confounders, there was no association between total vitamin D intake and type 2 diabetes. However, the relative risk (RR) of type 2 diabetes was 0.87 (95% CI 0.75–1.00; P for trend = 0.04) comparing the highest with the lowest category of vitamin D intake from supplements. The multivariate RRs of type 2 diabetes were 0.79 (0.70–0.90; P for trend <0.001) comparing the highest with the lowest category of calcium intake from all sources and 0.82 (0.72–0.92; P for trend <0.001) comparing the highest with the lowest category of calcium intake from supplements. A combined daily intake of >1,200 mg calcium and >800 IU vitamin D was associated with a 33% lower risk of type 2 diabetes with RR of 0.67 (0.49–0.90) compared with an intake of <600 mg and 400 IU calcium and vitamin D, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS — The results of this large prospective study suggest a potential beneficial role for both vitamin D and calcium intake in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Published on 08-24-2009
Authors: Anastassios G. Pittas, MD1, Bess Dawson-Hughes, MD12, Tricia Li, MD3, Rob M. Van Dam, PHD3, Walter C. Willett, MD, DRPH3, Joann E. Manson, MD, DRPH34 and Frank B. Hu, MD, PHD3
Source: Diabetes Care March 2006 vol. 29 no. 3 650-656