Vitamin D levels could halve diabetes risk

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:41 pm IST

Published - February 05, 2013 03:56 pm IST - Washington

File - Photo dated Nov. 22 2006 of a patient undergoing a blood test for diabetes. The number of adults worldwide with diabetes has more than doubled in three decades, jumping to an estimated 347 million, a new study says. Much of that increase is due to aging populations and population growth, but part of it has also been fueled by rising obesity rates. What's more, the disease is no longer limited to rich countries and is now a global problem.  (AP Photo / Hugo Philpott/PA, files) UNITED KINGDOM OUT: NO SALES: NO ARCHIVE:

File - Photo dated Nov. 22 2006 of a patient undergoing a blood test for diabetes. The number of adults worldwide with diabetes has more than doubled in three decades, jumping to an estimated 347 million, a new study says. Much of that increase is due to aging populations and population growth, but part of it has also been fueled by rising obesity rates. What's more, the disease is no longer limited to rich countries and is now a global problem. (AP Photo / Hugo Philpott/PA, files) UNITED KINGDOM OUT: NO SALES: NO ARCHIVE:

Adequate levels of vitamin D during young adulthood may halve the risk of adult-onset Type 1 diabetes, according to a new research.

The findings by the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) could lead to a role for vitamin D supplementation in preventing this serious auto-immune disease in adults, when the immune system starts damaging tissues.

“It is surprising that a serious disease such as Type 1 diabetes could perhaps be prevented by a simple and safe intervention,” said Kassandra Munger, research associate at HSPH, who led the study, the American Journal of Epidemiology reports.

In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and permanently disables the insulin-making cells in the pancreas. About five per cent of the estimated 25.8 million people in the U.S. suffer from this condition, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Although it often starts in childhood, about 60 per cent of Type 1 diabetes cases occur after age 20, according to a Harvard statement.

Identifying 310 individuals diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes between 1997 and 2009, the team examined blood samples taken before onset of the disease, and compared the samples with those of 613 people in a control group, not having the disease.

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