New research has found that making sure children have adequate Vitamin D levels throughout childhood could be important in lowering the risk of islet autoimmunity (IA) in children with a genetic risk for Type 1 Diabetes. IA is implicated in the progression and development of Type 1 Diabetes.
Data from over 350 children who developed islet autoimmunity was compared with data from over 1,000 children who did not have this disorder. Researchers found that in “children with a genetic variant in the Vitamin D receptor gene”, children who developed islet autoimmunity had lower Vitamin D levels in both childhood and infancy when compared to children that did not develop IA. These findings were part of The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study. This multi national study searched for protective factors and triggers of Type 1 Diabetes. Over 8,600 children with elevated Type 1 Diabetes risks participated in the full TEDDY study. Every 3 – 6 months the study participants gave a blood sample. The study began in infancy.
Type 1 Diabetes is considered to be a chronic autoimmune disease and is now the most common metabolic disorder in children under 10 years of age. The incidence of Type 1 Diabetes is increasing by 3% – 5% annually.
Researchers are looking at future studies to establish a cause and effect between Vitamin D supplementation and its ability to aid in preventing Type 1 Diabetes.
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