Researchers have found a correlation between serum levels of vitamin D3 and the incidence of Type 1 diabetes. A study conducted by researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine suggests that vitamin D3 may play a preventive role in the development of the said disease. The research is shown in the December, 2012 issue of Diabetologia, a publication of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes or EASD.
While researchers have knowledge of the link between vitamin D and diabetes this may be the first time that the relationship of the dose with regards to the body’s response has been tested.
The study involved studying the blood levels of over 2,000 individuals for a period of six years. Samples from the millions of blood serum specimens frozen and kept by the Department of Defense Serum Registry for disease surveillance were thawed and analyzed. A 1,000 sample group of serum from healthy people who later on developed Type 1 diabetes were analyzed as well as serum from 1,000 healthy controls that were drawn on or near the same date but did not develop Type 1 diabetes.
When the researchers compared the serum concentrations of the pre-dominant circulating form of vitamin D in the serum, the researchers was able to determine the optimal serum level required to lessen the risk of developing Type 1 diabetes.
According to Cedric Garland, Dr PH, FACE, professor in UCSD’s Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, around 50ng/ml of vitamin D3 is needed to prevent half the cases of Type 1 diabetes. “This beneficial effect is present at these intakes only for vitamin D3,” Garland says. “Reliance should not be placed on different forms of vitamin D and mega doses should be avoided, as most of the benefits for prevention of disease are for doses less than 10,000 IU/day,” he further added.