Vitamin D May Help Prevent Type 1 Diabetes
Researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found a link between serum vitamin D3 levels and the incidence of type 1 diabetes. The study involved nearly 2,000 volunteers and results suggest that vitamin D3 may prevent this disease.
Lead author Cedric Garland, DrPH, FACE, professor in UCSD’s Department of Family and Preventive Medicine states that their study is the first to show a dose-response relationship between vitamin D deficicncy and type I diabetes, supporting previous studies which have suggested their association.
The investigators used samples from blood serum specimens frozen by the Department of Defense Serum Registry for disease surveillance. From the millions of samples, the researchers analyzed one thousand samples from healthy people who later developed type 1 diabetes and another thousand samples from healthy controls who did not develop the disease. By comparing the serum levels of vitamin D they were able to determine the optimal serum level required to reduce one’s risk of developing diabetes.
The results of the study showed that a serum level of 50 ng/ml of vitamin D is needed to prevent half the cases of type 1 diabetes. For most people, 4000 IU per day of vitamin D3 must be taken to achieve these levels, according to Garland. However, he suggests that patients ask their health care provider to measure their vitamin D levels before increasing their intake. He also cautions that people should not rely on other forms of vitamin D or take mega doses because most of its benefits for disease prevention are gained in doses less than 10,000 IU/day.
University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. Vitamin D deficiency linked to type 1 diabetes. ScienceDaily.