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Vitamin D and Diabetes

old message vitamin D and Diabetes Darrell Miller 10/25/05


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Date: October 25, 2005 02:40 PM
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Subject: vitamin D and Diabetes

I Herd vitamin D might help prevent diabetes. Is this true?

If you are referring to type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes, you probably heard correctly. Animal studies suggest that vitamin D supplementation significantly represses the development of insulitis and diabetes and, furthermore, a vitamin D deficiency increases the onset of type 1 diabetes. Human studies seem to support this as well. In Norway, a retrospective study showed that children who ingested cod liver oil—a rich source of Vitamin D—had a significantly lower risk of type 1 diabetes.

It is not clear how vitamin D works in modifying the onset of type 1 diabetes, but the vitamin is a potent modulator of the immune system and it may alter certain inflammatory- and immune-signaling agents associated with development of the disease. A recent review of the literature suggests that doses less than 400 IU daily may not reduce the risk for type 1 diabetes, but that does of 2,000 IU a day (the tolerable upper intake level) may have a strong, protective effect.

Because few foods naturally contain vitamin D, sunlight and supplementation supplies most of our vitamin D requirement. Vitamin D deficiency is also prevalent in infants who are solely breast-fed and do not receive vitamin D supplementation.



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