Can Vitamin D Therapy Tackle Diabetes And Cancer?
Enhanced activation of Vitamin D by protecting beta cells may be a potential new approach for treating diabetes as well as other diseases, including cancer, researchers have suggested.
Activation of vitamin D cells could fight diseases like diabetes and cancer
- Enhanced activated vitamin D can fight diabetes
- It can also fight cancer
- Activating vitamin D can trigger the anti-inflammatory function of genes
Enhanced activation of Vitamin D by protecting beta cells may be a potential new approach for treating diabetes as well as other diseases, including cancer, researchers have suggested. When beta cells -- the cells in the pancreas that produce, store and release the hormone insulin -- become dysfunctional, the body can not make insulin to control blood sugar (glucose) and levels of glucose can rise to dangerous and even fatal levels. The researchers found that Vitamin D in cells and mouse models can be beneficial in treating these damaged beta cells.
They also provided new insights about gene regulation that could be applied to developing treatments for other diseases, including cancer.
"We know that diabetes is a disease caused by inflammation. We identified the Vitamin D receptor as an important modulator of both inflammation and beta cell survival," said Ronald Evans, from Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California, US.
Using beta cells created from embryonic stem cells, the team was able to identify a compound -- iBRD9 -- that appeared to enhance the activation of the Vitamin D receptor when it was combined with Vitamin D to improve the survival of beta cells.
In the paper, published in the journal Cell, the team conducted a screening test to look for compounds that improved the survival of beta cells in a dish. They then tested the combination in a mouse model of diabetes and showed that it could bring glucose back to normal levels in the animals.
Combining the new compound with vitamin D allowed certain protective genes to be expressed at much higher levels than they are in diseased cells.
"Activating the vitamin D receptor can trigger the anti-inflammatory function of genes to help cells survive under stressed conditions," explained Michael Downes, from the institute.
The researchers noted that although the new compound did not appear to cause any side effects in the mice, further testing is needed before clinical trials can begin.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
DoctorNDTV is the one stop site for all your health needs providing the most credible health information, health news and tips with expert advice on healthy living, diet plans, informative videos etc. You can get the most relevant and accurate info you need about health problems like diabetes, cancer, pregnancy, HIV and AIDS, weight loss and many other lifestyle diseases. We have a panel of over 350 experts who help us develop content by giving their valuable inputs and bringing to us the latest in the world of healthcare.