Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. It is a condition where your very own immune system attacks specific cells called beta-cells. Beta-cells help you produce a hormonal agent called insulin. You need insulin to assist your body manage glucose you get from food and turn it into energy for your body to use.
Researchers do not know what increases your possibilities of developing type 1 diabetes. Scientists think that having a relative who has type 1 diabetes may increase your risk of getting type 1 diabetes. Likewise, viral infections and environmental factors might increase your possibilities of establishing type 1 diabetes, however we need more research to state for sure or understand which elements play a role.
Research reveals that there is a link between vitamin D and type 1 diabetes. Individuals with high vitamin D consumption during their first year of life are less most likely to establish type 1 diabetes later in life. Some research likewise recommends having high vitamin D levels during pregnancy may assist avoid type 1 diabetes in their children later on in life.
However, this research has actually been observational, implying we don’t know for sure if getting sufficient vitamin D prevents type 1 diabetes.
Research studies have shown that vitamin D supplementation may help improve insulin sensitivity and help manage blood sugar levels in those with type 1 diabetes, though research has been small and undetermined, so we can’t say for sure if vitamin D assists at all in type 1 diabetes.
If you have type 1 diabetes or you are trying to avoid type 1 diabetes and want to take vitamin D, it is not likely to make your type 1 diabetes worse or cause you any harm, as long as you take less than 10,000 IU each day. Nevertheless, it’s not shown that it will help your type 1 diabetes. It’s also not shown if taking vitamin D will assist you avoid type 1 diabetes.
If you have type 1 diabetes, you shouldn’t take vitamin D in place of your treatment medications. Talk with your doctor for more guidance about taking supplements.
- What is the link between type 1 diabetes and vitamin D?
The relationship between T1D and vitamin D is still not completely understood and is still being studied.
Scientists believe that vitamin D helps make your immune cells act smarter. This may be important in autoimmune illness, like T1D, where your immune cells are wrongly assaulting your very own body. Researchers are wondering if you get enough vitamin D, if it can help make these cells earn less mistakes and assist avoid or handle autoimmune diseases much better.
Vitamin D can attach to receptors on your immune cells, and through chemical signals, aid direct the cells to communicate and operate properly.
Vitamin D receptors are present in essential areas involved with T1D. Vitamin D binds to these receptors and helps avoid beta cell death, enhance insulin production, and minimize swelling. However, it’s not clear if these receptors and signals are associated with preventing or dealing with T1D.
What does the research state in general about vitamin D and type 1 diabetes?
Preventing type 1 diabetes
Researchers are interested if you get enough vitamin D during early childhood, if you can prevent T1D, or if pregnant moms get enough vitamin D, they can prevent T1D in their children.
Some research studies show a link between vitamin D consumption and risk of developing T1D. Research has actually revealed that supplementing with vitamin D during the first year of life minimizes the risk of developing T1D. Nevertheless, most of these research studies have been observational, indicating that researchers cannot say for sure whether vitamin D avoids T1D or not.
A couple of studies have actually looked at the function of vitamin D during various stages of pregnancy and if it might help avoid T1D in children. The results of these studies have actually been blended, so researchers can’t state for sure if vitamin D intake during pregnancy can prevent children from developing T1D later in life.
Treating type 1 diabetes
There have just been a few studies taking a look at vitamin D in the treatment and management of T1D. None of the research studies have actually discovered vitamin D to be able to treat T1D, but they do suggest a possible role in assisting manage some aspects of the disease.
These research studies recommend that vitamin D contributes in enhancing the function of the beta cells, enhancing insulin production, and handling blood glucose levels, all important things in T1D. Vitamin D may have a role in helping the body produce a few of its own insulin when along with basic insulin treatment.
However, these research studies taking a look at treatment of T1D have actually had undetermined results, suggesting scientists cannot say for sure if vitamin D helps to treat or manage T1D.
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What does current research state?
Avoiding type 1 diabetes
A review of many studies in 2013 looked at research studies on vitamin D and risk of T1D. From the research studies the researchers examined, 8 research studies looked at vitamin D intake during the first year of life and 3 studies took a look at the results of vitamin D intake of pregnant women on the risk of T1D in their children years later on after they were born. The scientists discovered:
- Babies who took vitamin D supplements during their first year of life had a considerably minimized risk of T1D compared with those who did not.
- There was no relationship in between vitamin D consumption during pregnancy and risk of T1D in their children.
All the studies evaluated were observational, suggesting that we don’t know for sure if vitamin D intake during early life can help prevent T1D in children.
A study in 2012 in Norway took a look at a large group of women who had delivered between 1992 and 1994. They wished to know if low vitamin D levels of the mothers during late pregnancy was connected to an increased risk of T1D in their children. They discovered:
- The typical vitamin D level of moms with children with T1D had actually lower levels compared with women with children without T1D.
- Children born to mothers with vitamin D levels less than 21.6 ng/ml were twice as most likely to obtain T1D compared with women with vitamin D levels above 35.6 ng/ml.
This study was observational nevertheless, implying we can’t say for sure if getting vitamin D during pregnancy safeguards against T1D.
A study carried out in 2001 in Finland gathered data on more than 10,000 children from 1966 and followed them through to 1998 to see if vitamin D supplements during the first year of life led to a reduced risk of developing T1D in life. The researchers discovered:
- Children who took vitamin D supplements, no matter what the dosage, had a lower possibility of getting T1D compared with those who didn’t take supplements.
- The children who routinely took vitamin D supplements at the recommended day-to-day dose (at the time) of 2,000 IU/day in the first year of life had an 80% lower risk of establishing T1D compared with children who took less.
This research study was observational, implying that we can’t state for sure whether vitamin D supplements prevent T1D or not.
Treating type 1 diabetes
A randomized trial in 2010 wanted to see if vitamin D has any impact on safeguarding beta-cell function, a primary factor in insulin production and assisting manage glucose. The researchers randomized a group of young people around the age of 18 years old who had just recently been identified with T1D to get either 1,000 IU of vitamin D or a placebo. The researchers followed them for 2 years and found:
- Vitamin D supplementation or vitamin D levels did not assist how well the beta-cells functioned.
This research study was little and used a low dose of vitamin D, so scientists cannot state for sure whether vitamin D can aid with beta-cell function in freshly diagnosed T1D patients.
An experiment in 2010 in Saudi Arabia looked at a group of teenagers and adults with T1D. They wished to see if vitamin D and calcium reduced amounts of glycated hemoglobin. High levels of glycated hemoglobin is a typical characteristic of T1D and is a sign of poor blood sugar control and higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
They took a look at 80 vitamin D lacking people and provided 4,000 IU/day of vitamin D and 1,200 mg/day of calcium. They found:
- Those who reached vitamin D levels above 30 ng/ml had actually much lower glycated hemoglobin levels compared to those who remained listed below 30 ng/ml. This means that individuals with high levels of vitamin D displayed much better glucose control than those with lower levels of vitamin D.
However, the researchers could not state for sure if vitamin D and calcium supplements and having high vitamin D levels helped, given that their findings were observational and not compared with a control group.
Key points from the research
- Research has actually shown that infants with high vitamin D intake during their first year of life are less likely to establish T1D later in life.
- Research has revealed that pregnant moms with high vitamin D levels during pregnancy are less most likely to have children that get T1D later on in life. However, this research is less strong compared to vitamin D intake during early childhood and infancy.
- Some research has actually revealed that vitamin D might assist improve insulin sensitivity and assistance manage blood glucose in those with T1D, though we can’t say for sure if vitamin D helps at all in T1D.
- The majority of studies that have actually been done so far have actually been observational meaning we can not say for sure if vitamin D is a main consider the avoidance or treatment of T1D.
- More experiments are had to plainly address whether vitamin D supplementation can avoid or treat T1D.
Also read: Type 1 Diabetes by Country
What does this mean for me?
Research reveals that there is a link in between vitamin D and T1D. People with high vitamin D consumption during their first year of life are less likely to establish T1D later in life. Some research likewise recommends having high vitamin D levels during pregnancy might help prevent T1D in their children later on in life.
However, this research has actually been observational, suggesting we do not know for sure if getting adequate vitamin D prevents T1D.
Studies have actually shown that vitamin D supplements may help improve insulin level of sensitivity and help control blood glucose levels in those with T1D, though research has been little and undetermined, so we can’t say for sure if vitamin D assists at all in T1D.
If you have T1D or you are trying to prevent T1D and wish to take vitamin D, it is unlikely to make your T1D even worse or cause you any damage, as long as you take less than 10,000 IU each day. Nevertheless, it’s not proven that it will help your T1D. It’s likewise not shown if taking vitamin D will help you avoid T1D.
If you have T1D, you shouldn’t take vitamin D in location of your treatment medications. Talk to your doctor for more suggestions about taking supplements.