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Diabetes is increasing worldwide. An estimated 370 million people suffer from this chronic condition globally. It is a life-long illness that occurs when the body is unable to effectively regulate the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. There are two types: Type 1 and Type 2.
The relationship between sun exposure and developing diabetes is connected to vitamin D levels in the body. Locations that experience less sunshine like Northern Europe report high levels of diabetes. A lack of sun exposure leads to vitamin D deficiency, which is linked to both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.
How vitamin D regulates glucose levels is complex and not quite fully understood yet. Scientists have found that vitamin D is involved in the production of the hormone Insulin, which is responsible for managing blood sugar levels.
Studies show that a deficiency in vitamin D appears to negatively affect insulin secretion. Once vitamin D levels are increased, this function appears to fully recover. Most interestingly, studies have found that increased sun exposure can help prevent diabetes from developing, and this is strengthened if done earlier in life.
It should be noted that correct levels of vitamin D are different for each person. Similarly, the amount of sun exposure time required to make sufficient vitamin D is dependent on the individual. Nonetheless, time spent under the sun, whilst being careful not to burn, can maybe help you avert diabetes later in life.