Thursday, 12 May 2016

Low vitamin D may increase diabetes risk

The Diabetes epidemic in Australia, could low levels of vitamin D be one of the risks.
Russell Setright



The incidence of diabetes in Australia is increasing and, at the same time we are seeing a corresponding deficiency in vitamin D levels. Studies show there is a strong link between the development of diabetes type-2 and vitamin D deficiency and a possible reduction in risk between childhood type-1 diabetes and vitamin D supplementation.

The growing body of evidence supports the theory that low blood serum levels of 25(OH)vit D is also associated with an increase of many diseases including diabetes and CVD, (Dobnig H, et al. Independent association of low serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D with all cause mortality. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2008 Jun 23;168:1340-1349).

One large meta-analysis found a significant association between low serum levels of 25(OH)vit D and an increase in the incidence of diabetes, CVD and metabolic syndrome. This research examined 28 studies that included 99,745 men and women across a variety of ethnic groups. The studies revealed a significant association between high levels of vitamin D (25(OH)VitD) and a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes (55% reduction) and metabolic syndrome (51% reduction)  ( Levels of vitamin D and cardiometabolic disorders: Systematic review and meta-analysis J.Maturitas Volume 65, Issue 3, 225-236, March 2010).

Also review and meta-analysis of the data from five trials that included 6455 infants, of which 1429 were cases and 5026 controls was published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. The data from the five observational studies, found that infants who received vitamin D supplements were 29 per cent less likely to develop type-1 diabetes than non-supplemented infants (Zipitis C et al. "Vitamin D supplementation in early childhood and risk of type 1 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis" Archives of Disease in Childhood (British Medical Journal) .2007).

Another study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, September 2007 looked at 1770 children at high risk of developing type-1 diabetes.
Their study reported that an increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids from marine sources may reduce a child's risk of developing type-1 diabetes by 55 per cent.
Vitamin D found in cod liver oil, a popular marine supplement, may have been a contributing factor.

Vitamin D deficiencies in Australia
The data are consistent in that low blood serum levels of 25(OH)VitD (25-hydroxyvitamin D) is at an alarming rate in Australia. Those people with dark or olive skin, the elderly and veiled (80% may have mild deficiency) as well as those who wear protective clothing and always use sun screen have the greatest risk of vitamin D deficiency . In addition, those taking anticonvulsant medication or suffer from renal, hepatic or cardiopulmonary disease or those who have fat malabsorption syndromes (e.g., cystic fibrosis) or inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease, are also at risk.  (Vitamin D, National Health and Medical Research Council 2010, Ministry of Health. Australian Government)

IMPORTANT In addition to diet, weight manegment and lifestyle changes, Diabetes must be managed by your medical doctor, if you think you may be at risk or have diabetes see your doctor for advise and treatment.

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