Lack of Vitamin D Linked to Diabetes-Related Autoimmunity

Vitamin D and DiabetesNew 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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Short-Term Fish Oil Consumption Helps Prevent Type-2 Diabetes in People with Existing Metabolic Disorders

Omega-3 and DiabetesAccording to a new meta-analysis supplementation with Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids could increase insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of diabetes in people who suffer from metabolic disorders.

17 studies with over 670 participants over the age of 18 were reviewed by researchers.  In individuals experiencing at least one symptom of a metabolic disorder Omega-3 supplementation heightened their insulin sensitivity, however the same benefits were not seen the participants who were healthy or already had Type-2 Diabetes.  A 47% decrease in insulin resistance was seen in the group supplementing with Omega-3 and had metabolic disorders but did not have Type-2 Diabetes.

Researchers found that serum Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels took approximately 4 weeks to reach equilibrium.  They stressed that duration of supplementation and not dosage was crucial for the Omega-3 to be most effective.

More research is needed.

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Magnesium Pills May Improve Blood Pressure in At-Risk Populations

Magnesium and High Blood PressureA new meta-analysis found individuals with pre-diabetes, insulin resistance or other non-communicable chronic disease have a higher risk for hypertension (High Blood Pressure) but supplementation with Magnesium may lower their blood pressure.

11 gold-standard randomized controlled trials were reviewed.  Researchers found Magnesium supplementation significantly decreased both systolic (4.18 mmHg) and diastolic (2.27 mmHg) blood pressure.  It is believed that Magnesium effects vascular tone and thus improves endothelium (the layer of cells lining blood vessels) function which directly lowers blood pressure.  Additionally Magnesium has been reported to have a synergistic effect when combined with medications that are considered to be antihypertensive.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) lists Magnesium as being involved in over 300 enzymatic processes in the body, such as helping to maintain normal nerve and muscle functions, keeping our bones strong as well as supporting a healthier immune response.  This important mineral is also necessary for supporting healthy blood pressure and blood sugar management.  70% – 80% of the population in the United States is not achieving the recommended intakes of daily Magnesium.

Researcher concluded that a well-designed, double blind, randomized placebo-controlled clinical study is warranted to provide more substantial evidence as to the benefits of Magnesium supplementation on blood pressure as well as disease outcomes in patients with pre-diabetes, insulin resistance and other non-communicable chronic diseases.

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Antioxidants Might Help in Early Diabetic Kidney Disease

Antioxidants and Kidney DiseaseA recent meta-analysis and review found supplementation with antioxidants, like Vitamin E, may reduce the loss of a specific protein, albumin, in a patient’s urine.  The excretion of albumin is an early sign of diabetic kidney disease (DKD).

The purpose of the meta-analysis and review was to determine if antioxidant supplementation would slow the progression of DKD to end state kidney disease (ESKD).  DKD is the prime cause of ESKD.  Approximately half of all long-term diabetics end up developing some form of kidney damage over their lifetime.  Most trials reviewed used Vitamin E and or Vitamin E as well as B6, Zinc, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Silymarin and reduced Glutathione.  Antioxidants were used either individually or in combination.

Most antioxidants showed some benefit in reducing Urinary Albumin Excretion (UAE).  Vitamin E showed the most consistent benefit.  Researchers found it difficult to reach any strong conclusions due to the diversity in study designs, trial sizes, outcome measures to name a few of the meta-analysis challenges.  However researchers did find a benefit of antioxidant therapy (especially Vitamin E) on early signs of renal damage.

Further studies are needed.

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Study Sheds “New Light” on Role of Omega-3 in Type 1 Diabetes Protection

Omega-3 DiabetesA new research paper suggests that Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids may reduce children’s risk of Type 1 Diabetes.  This research looked at whether childhood serum Fatty Acid levels were linked to the development of autoimmunity in children genetically predisposed to developing Type 1 Diabetes.

Over 7,700 children who had an increased genetic risk of developing Type 1 Diabetes participated in this research which occurred between 1997 and 2004.  The children’s blood samples were taken at regular intervals until they reached 15 years of age.  The children were monitored for islet autoimmunity.  Type 1 Diabetes results from the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells in the islets of the pancreas by the body’s immune system. Before Type 1 Diabetes presents with symptoms, underlying autoimmunity to the insulin-producing cells can be detected by measuring antibodies in the blood stream. These antibodies are known as islet autoantibodies and the condition is known as islet autoimmunity.

This study found the Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids could play a role in Type 1 Diabetes development and that these Omega 3 might be protective against this disease, especially during infancy.  Higher serum blood levels of fatty acids consumed during breastfeeding were associated with a lower risk of islet autoimmunity and Type 1 Diabetes.

Further studies are needed.

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Vitamin D Blunts Negative Impact of Statins in Diabetes Patients Post Exercise

Vitamin DA new study shows patients with Type 2 Diabetes who are taking statin drugs and supplementing with Vitamin D improves their cardio respiratory fitness as well as muscle mitochondria.

28 individuals participated in this randomized controlled trial.  Data from the participants upon completion of the trial showed that participants cardio respiratory fitness decreased by 8.4% after 12 weeks of simvastatin therapy. These individuals also experienced a 3.6% decrease in mitochondrial content.   Participants who were taking the simvastatin therapy but were also supplementing with Vitamin D however showed a decrease in cardio respiratory fitness of only .6% and a 12.1% improvement in mitochondrial content.  Participants who only took Vitamin D without the simvastatin therapy saw an increase in cardio respiratory fitness of 7.1% and a 16.7% increase in mitochondrial content.

Researchers believe that the statin simvastatin in inclined to cause a decline in exercise-mediated cardio respiratory fitness in adults with Type 2 Diabetes by interrupting the synthesis of CoEnzyme Q10.

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Omega-3 Supplements May Provide Long-Term Diabetic Benefits

Omega 3-DiabetesInflammation typically seen in Type 1 Diabetes may be reduced by Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids according to new research.  In a study involving mice supplementation with Omega 3 led to long-term improvements in insulin and glucose levels.

Female non-obese diabetic mice were fed a control diet which was supplemented with either 10% arachidonic acid (an Omega 6 Essential Fatty Acid) or 10% EPA/DHA (an Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acid).  This regimen lasted for 35 weeks and started when the mice were 5 weeks old.  To test insulin tolerance Glucose tolerance tests were used.  80% of the female non-obese diabetic mice (NOD) who were fed a regular diet had developed diabetes by the age of 40 weeks however only 33% of the mice who received the EPA/DHA diet were considered diabetic.

Researchers looked at how the EPA/DHA would affect the human CD4+T cells, these cells play an essential role in the adaptive immune system.  Researchers found that Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids had the same effect on differentiating CD4+T cells isolated from Type 1 Diabetics as those seen in the NOD mice suggesting the Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids may potentially be used as a therapy in addressing Type 1 Diabetes.

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