Vitamin D Deficiency Linked To Risk Of Developing Type 1 Diabetes
November 16, 2012

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked To Risk Of Developing Type 1 Diabetes

Lawrence LeBlond for - Your Universe Online

New research from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine has found that low levels of Vitamin D in the blood can contribute to a higher risk for the development of Type 1 diabetes. More specifically, the correlation was made pertaining to a lack of vitamin D3 in their 25(OH)D serum levels.

The six-year-long study, involving nearly 2,000 individuals, is published in the December issue of Diabetologia, a publication of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).

Cedric Garland, DrPH, FACE, professor at UCSD´s Dept. of Family and Preventive Medicine, said that while past research “proposed the existence of an association between vitamin D deficiency and risk of and Type 1 diabetes,” his team´s work is the first to test the theory “in a way that provides the dose-response relationship.”

For their study, Garland and colleagues used samples from millions of blood serum specimens frozen by the Department of Defense Serum Repository for disease surveillance. The team thawed and analyzed a thousand samples of serum from healthy individuals who later developed type 1 diabetes and 1,000 healthy controls whose blood were drawn on or near the same date as the previous batch, but who did not develop the disease.

By comparing the two serum sets, the team was able to determine the optimal serum level needed to lower an individual´s risk of developing type 1diabetes. Based on their results, Garland estimated that the level of vitamin D3 needed to prevent half the cases of type 1 diabetes is 50 ng/ml. He noted that available data indicates there is no known risk associated with this level of dosage.

“While there are a few conditions that influence vitamin D metabolism, for most people, 4000 IU per day of vitamin D3 will be needed to achieve the effective levels,” Garland suggested, adding that patients who are interested in learning more should ask their healthcare provider to measure their 25(OH)D serum before increasing vitamin D3 intake.

Garland cautioned that the effect is only hinged on the intake of vitamin D3. “Reliance should not be placed on different forms of vitamin D and mega doses should be avoided, as most of the benefits for prevention of disease are for doses less than 10,000 IU/day,” he explained in a prepared statement.