Getting proper amount of vitamin D during childhood and infancy can help you skip diabetes, especially in children who are genetically vulnerable to have diabetes, according to a study.
At the University of Colorado, a group of researchers tested the association between vitamin D with the islet autoimmunity and blood. Detected by antibodies which appear when immune system fights the islet cells in pancreas which is responsible to produce insulin, islet autoimmunity is the first effect to the body before type 1 diabetes.
At Anschutz Medical Campus (CU Anschutz), University of Colorado, Jill Norris added, “There has been a controversy among the scientists on whether vitamin D controls the risk of Type 1 Diabetes or developing islet autoimmunity for several years.” Type 1 Diabetes is a chronic disease spreading by around 3% to 5% every year in the world, according to researchers.
Currently, it is the most widespread metabolic disorder in kids who are under 10 years or younger. The chances of developing diabetes are very high in younger children. At higher latitudes, starting from north of equator, the risks seem to be higher. This way, vitamin D can be the protective factor to avoid type 1 Diabetes as it controls autoimmunity and immune system. In addition, the status of Vitamin D varies as per latitude.
However, there are inconsistent relations between islet autoimmunity and vitamin D level. It may be because of population variation in vitamin D, various study designs, or failure on combined effect of exposure, and genetic variation in the pathway to vitamin D. The results are the part of TEDDY or The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young study which searched for protective factors and triggers in 8676 children who may be affected by type 1 diabetes. Drawn in every 3 to 6 months from infancy in children, blood samples were collected to figure out if islet autoimmunity is there, along with the levels of vitamin D.
In this study, 376 children with islet autoimmunity are compared with 1041 healthy children. In Diabetes journal, the study was published. According to it, the children with Vitamin D in genetic receptor gene, or vitamin D in childhood or infancy were less likely to develop islet autoimmunity as compared to those who have lack of vitamin D levels in their body. It is the first study which shows that the higher vitamin D levels in childhood are widely associated with lower risk of IA. Norris added, “We are looking for the future studies to confirm whether the intervention of Vitamin D can help avoid Type 1 Diabetes, as this association doesn’t clear the effect and cause.” Thus there is a strong connection between diabetes and vitamins.
Vitamin D has also been helpful for mothers-to-be because they may prevent childhood asthma. They can positively tweak their baby’s immune system by taking enough Vitamin D supplements in pregnancy. It is also helpful to prevent diabetes in children since their birth. Women are also affected with the risk of developing various diseases due to low vitamin D levels.
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