Vitamin D’s Role In Preventing Type 1 Diabetes
Vitamin D supplementation could possibly reduce the risk of type 1 diabetes in susceptible children.
Type 1 diabetes mellitus (TIDM) has been found to be more frequent in people who live at higher altitudes. These people are also at higher risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency. Since vitamin D is related to immune system regulation and increased autoimmunity, it is a potential contender in T1DM prevention. It has been suggested that vitamin D may be related to lower risk of T1DM in infants. Some studies have failed to find a relation between childhood dietary vitamin D and islet autoimmunity (IA). However, dietary intake of vitamin D is only one of the sources that depicts serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D). 25(OH)D is the precursor of vitamin D, and a good indicator of vitamin D levels in the body. Numerous other studies have found mixed results on whether 25(OH)D is associated with IA and T1DM. This is perhaps due to study design issues, population diversity, and/or failing to consider genetic variation.
Genes vital to the vitamin D pathway include, GC, CYP27B1, CYP24A1, VDR and RXRA. GC transports 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D. CYP27B1 transforms 25(OH)D to 1,25(OH)2D. CYP24A1 is responsible for degradation of 1,25(OH)2D. VDR and RXRA both enable 1,25(OH)2D. Genetic variations of these genes may result in ineffective or insufficient levels of 25(OH)D and past studies have failed to consider this. Therefore, the main goal of the following prospective study, called The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY), was to evaluate 25(OH)D blood levels Continue reading