Optimal Levels Of Vitamin D In Childhood Cuts Risk Of Diabetes: Top 10 Sources of Vitamin D
Getting enough vitamin D during infancy and childhood can reduce the risk of diabetes in kids, says a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado in the US.
Vitamin D can cut diabetes risk in children
- Enough vitamin D during infancy and childhood can reduce risk of diabetes
- The disease is the most common metabolic disorder in children under 10
- Sunlight is a very important source of Vitamin D
Washington, Oct 24 (PTI) Getting enough vitamin D during infancy and childhood can reduce the risk of diabetes in kids genetically predisposed to have the disease, a study has found. Researchers from University of Colorado in the US examined the association between vitamin D levels in the blood and islet autoimmunity.
Islet autoimmunity, detected by antibodies that appear when the immune system attacks the islet cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, is a precursor to type 1 diabetes.
Also read: 6 Silent Symptoms Of Diabetes You May Be Missing
"For several years there has been controversy among scientists about whether vitamin D lowers the risk of developing of islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes," said Jill Norris, from University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (CU Anschutz).
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease that is increasing by 3-5 per cent annually worldwide, researchers said. The disease is now the most common metabolic disorder in children under age 10. In younger children, the number of new cases is particularly high. The risks seem to be greater at higher latitudes, further north from the equator. Vitamin D represents a candidate protective factor for type 1 diabetes as it regulates the immune system and autoimmunity.
Also read: 5 Fruits To Treat Diabetes
Moreover, vitamin D status varies by latitude. However, associations between vitamin D levels and islet autoimmunity have been inconsistent. This may be due to different study designs, population variation in vitamin D levels, or a failure to account for the combined effect of exposure and underlying genetic variation in the vitamin D pathway.
The findings are part of The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study, which looked for triggers and protective factors for type 1 diabetes in 8,676 children with elevated type 1 diabetes risk.
The children were followed with blood samples drawn every three to six months from infancy, to determine the presence of islet autoimmunity, as well as levels of vitamin D. Researchers compared 376 children who developed islet autoimmunity with 1,041 children who did not.
Also read: Are You At A Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency?
The study, published in the journal Diabetes, that in children with a genetic variant in the vitamin D receptor gene, vitamin D levels in infancy and childhood were lower in those that went on to develop islet autoimmunity compared with those that did not develop autoimmunity.
The study is the first to show that higher childhood vitamin D levels are significantly associated with a decreased risk of IA.
"Since this association does not prove cause-and-effect, we look to future prospective studies to confirm whether a vitamin D intervention can help prevent type 1 diabetes," Norris said.
Top 10 sources of vitamin D you must know:
2. Cod liver oil
4. Raw milk
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