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Higher vitamin D levels may reduce the risk of children developing type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, when the body does not produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar, is now the most common metabolic disorder in children under 10.

In this study, doctors focused on special cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, called islet cells. In some children, the immune system mistakenly attacks islet cells, a precursor of type 1 diabetes. Vitamin D regulates the immune system. Doctors compared 376 children who developed the islet autoimmune disorder to 1,041 children who did not. Kids that went on to develop islet autoimmune disorder had a genetic variant of the vitamin D receptor gene, had lower levels of vitamin D during infancy and childhood, and were more likely to later develop type 1 diabetes. Kids with higher vitamin D levels were less likely to develop islet autoimmune disorder.

 

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