The conclusion comes from a decade-long study by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, in collaboration with Seoul National University in South Korea.
The research, conducted from 1997 until 2009, explores the impact of vitamin D deficiency by analyzing how it affects the risk of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Vitamin D can be assimilated in the body either through diet or by exposure to sun rays. Colloquially known as the "sunshine" vitamin, it is the only vitamin that can be naturally produced by the skin as a reaction to sunlight.
Once absorbed into the body, vitamin D is converted by the liver into a chemical called 25-hydroxyvitamin D, notes HealthLine.
The recent study monitored 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in 903 people over a period of 12 years.
The researchers set out with a predetermined healthy level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which was identified to be of 30 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml).
This value, which is 10 ng/ml higher than the 2010 recommendation by the Institute of Medicine, was used as a standard for comparison.