|VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENTS REDUCE RISK OF CHILD DIABETES|
March 13 2008 Archives of Disease in Childhood
According to this review taking vitamin D supplements in infancy may help a child prevent Type 1 diabetes. British doctors looked at five studies in which children were monitored from infancy to early childhood to see if vitamin D supplements made a difference to the risk of becoming diabetic. The risk of developing the disease was reduced 29% in children who took extra vitamin D as compared to those who had not.
Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body does not produce enough of the hormone insulin, or cannot make proper use of the insulin it does produce, a condition called insulin resistance. Insulin is one of the major hormones responsible for regulating blood sugar. In Type 1 diabetes beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin are destroyed in early childhood by the body's immune system. It is most common among people of European descent, affecting around 2million Europeans and North Americans. This research indicates that lack of Vitamin D may be one reason why Type 1 diabetes has become more prevalent in recent years.
Type 2 diabetes, which is far more common, is linked to consumption of fast food, 'diet' products, obesity, and a lack of exercise. It is reaching epidemic levels in countries like the United States where processed foods are consumed, vegetables and fruits are ignored, and exercise is lacking.
Analysis of data from these studies showed that the risk of type 1 diabetes was significantly reduced in infants who were supplemented with vitamin D compared to those who were not supplemented. There was also some evidence of a dose-response effect-those using higher amounts of vitamin D were at a lower risk of developing type 1 diabetes.
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