Vitamin D might prevent type 1 diabetes

According to a study in the journal Diabetes, supplementing vitamin D could help to reduce the risk of type 1 diabetes in children who are genetically susceptible. Furthermore, children with lower vitamin D levels in their blood were more prone to islet autoimmunity, compared with children who had higher D levels. This is the first study to make a strong case for preventing islet autoimmunity through boosting vitamin D levels in children. About 1.25 people have diabetes in the U.S. Onset of the disease usually happens in childhood.

Key Takeaways:

  • Children who are genetically susceptible to type 1 diabetes could see their risk of the condition reduced if they get enough vitamin D.
  • Children who possessed a variant in the vitamin D receptor gene, higher vitamin D levels were associated with a reduced risk of developing islet autoimmunity.
  • Vitamin D is present in some foods — including fatty fish, cheese, and egg yolks and it is available as a dietary supplement.

“Researchers found that children with low blood levels of vitamin D were more likely to experience islet autoimmunity, compared with those who had higher levels of the vitamin.”