December 2010 newsletter news: Take more vitamin D!

Having seen this study, it’s hard not to think that you’d definitely be hedging your bets if you took more vitamin D, especially in winter time when you’re skin has less chance to manufacture any as there is less sunshine to promote the process. We learnt a few new words reading this, such as immunomodulatory and normoglycemic, as we read about new research is being undertaken as regards vitamin D and diabetes (both type 1 and Type 2).

According to the research brief, “The immunomodulatory effects of vitamin D suggest a plausible role in autoimmune diseases, such as T1DM. Indeed, lifelong treatment with 1,25(OH)2D prevents insulitis and diabetes in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice. Plasma 25(OH)D concentrations are lower in patients with T1DM at diagnosis than in non-diabetic controls, although mean levels for both groups were in the normative range. Importantly, vitamin D supplementation in infancy decreased incident T1DM demonstrated in a large European multicenter cross-sectional trial and a Finish birth-cohort study. In recent-onset T1DM, administration of 0.25 μg calcitriol [1,25(OH)2D] on alternate days for 1 year had a modest effect on residual pancreatic beta-cell function and temporarily reduced insulin requirement at 3 and 6 months, suggesting a potential therapeutic role after diagnosis.

“The pathogenesis of T2DM involves both beta-cell dysfunction and insulin resistance. In-vitro and rodent studies suggest an important role for vitamin D both in beta-cell function and insulin resistance. Hypovitaminosis D correlates with beta-cell dysfunction and insulin resistance in 126 normoglycemic healthy adults studied with an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) and hyperglycemic clamp. Multiple epidemiologic studies suggest low vitamin D levels are associated with impaired glucose metabolism.”

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