Vitamin D deficiency does not affect diabetes progression

Feb. 28, 2014 at 1:09 AM

MUNICH, Germany, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Vitamin D deficiency precedes the onset of type 1 diabetes, but the vitamin deficiency does not seem to influence disease progression, German researchers say.

Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen and the Technical University of Munich said vitamin D is known as a major regulator of calcium levels and bone metabolism. It also influences the immune system. Previous studies showed patients with recently diagnosed type 1 diabetes had significantly lower vitamin D levels.

The research team headed by Jennifer Raab, Dr. Christiane Winkler and Professor Anette-Gabriele Ziegler compared the vitamin D measurements taken from 108 children who were tested positive for islet autoantibodies with 406 children without autoantibodies. Lower vitamin D levels were also found in 244 children who had recently been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Prediabetes is defined as the presence of multiple islet autoantibodies. If and when the disease progresses, however, does not seem to be influenced by the vitamin D levels. Within the group of children with positive autoantibodies, a few children quickly developed type 1 diabetes -- however this was independent from their vitamin D levels.

Recommendation of vitamin D supplementation at an early stage of type 1 diabetes may be considered, the researchers said.

"Vitamin D deficiency precedes the onset of type 1 diabetes. This may be a consequence of an immune response," Ziegler said in a statement. "In the case of prediabetic children, we must therefore be mindful of the risk of vitamin D deficiency and consider recommending vitamin D supplementation at an early stage of type 1 diabetes."

The findings were published in the specialist journal Diabetologia.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more news from
Related UPI Stories
share with facebook
share with twitter
Trending Stories