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Vitamin D might prevent type 1 diabetes

By on October 26, 2017

Children at risk of developing the disease can be helped if administered proper doses of vitamin D, study finds

New research published in the Diabetes journal explains how kids with vitamin D deficiency are more at risk of developing Langerhans Islet autoimmunity, a condition in which the immune system triggers and attacks the cells responsible with producing insulin, this way causing type 1 diabetes, translating into high blood glucose levels.

According to study author, Dr. Jill Norris from the Colorado School of Public Health, higher vitamin D levels could prevent this process from happening.

As type 1 diabetes is a common condition during childhood, the latest study is particularly important for young people. Moreover, the data of the American Diabetes Association shows that approximatively 1.25 million people are affected by the condition in the U.S. only.

For this study, Dr. Norris and his team have assessed 8.676 children with a considerable genetic risk for developing the disease, in order to discover if there is a connection between the “sunlight vitamin” and high glucose levels. The research, incorporated into The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young Study, has been conducted over a 4 years time-frame.

In the attempt of investigating how vitamin D levels affect islet autoimmunity, the team of researchers have collected blood samples from each participant, with a frequency of 3 to 6 months.

After the data was assessed, scientists have discovered that 376 children have developed islet autoimmunity.

When compared with the children that did not developed the condition, it has been observed that kids possessing a specific variant in the vitamin D receptor gene, and increased vitamin D levels were less at risk from developing type 1 diabetes.

As declared by Dr. Norris and colleagues, their recent findings may suggest the vitamin’s potential of preventing high blood glucose levels. Nevertheless, the study was unsuccessful of clearly proving the direct link between the two factors, therefore furthers studies on the matter are yet to be conducted.

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