Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
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If you have pre-diabetes, this story could give you the chance to change the course of your health. And it is free and easy to do.

It's a common health problem, in adults and lately even children. Few people realize type-2 diabetes can be deadly. It's a leading cause in heart disease, kidney failure and blindness. In the U.S., 26 million people have diabetes, and worse, 79 million have pre-diabetes and may not know it.

'Which means that over time we going to have a huge, huge population of people with diabetes. The expectation is that by 2050, the population will have doubled of people with type 2-diabetes as well as the expense,' said Roberta McDuffie, a clinical nurse specialist who is the Director of the Tulane Clinical Translational Unit where research trials are run.

Diabetes cost $245 billion a year now. But what if something simple could stop pre-diabetes, where people are insulin resistant, from progressing to type 2-diabetes?

That's where vitamin D3 comes in. It's a vitamin that is turned into a hormone by your body and doctors think there may be some relationship with having low levels of vitamin D and some forms of cancer, obesity, diabetes and many other illnesses.

'It's very important to maintain a normal level. We have found so many people with deficiencies. It's become so common that now Medicare is actually measuring the amount of money that they are spending, has more than doubled in the last couple of years just for testing of vitamin D,' explained McDuffie.

Tulane is now one of 20 testing sites to see if one gel tab a day can prevent diabetes.

'If we know that this works, then vitamin D3 is obviously something that we can, we have an unlimited supply. We can easily provide it around the world and if it makes a difference and it slows down the rate of type-2 diabetes, it would be phenomenal,' she said.

This is a four-year study. Exams, vitamins, and diet and exercise counseling are free. Study participants will also be compensated.

If you are 30 or older, overweight or obese and think you have pre-diabetes, call Tulane at 504-988-0200.

Details on the D2d study from Tulane:

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