Low vitamin D levels could be the reason why people with diabetes often develop clogged arteries, which lead to heart disease.

Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine have discovered that blood vessels are less likely to clog in people with diabetes who have an adequate intake of vitamin D. However, when patients have insufficient amounts of vitamin D, immune cells bind to blood vessels near the heart, then trap cholesterol to block those blood vessels.

The findings were published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.