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Can Vitamin D Help Tackle Diabetes

By jeremyc | May 14, 2018

Diabetes is a huge public concern and it is hardly surprising to note that now researchers are working to find novel ways to deal with this menace. Recently researchers checked if Vitamin D might pave way for new diabetes treatment.

It is estimated that the number of people having diabetes type 2 in the U.S. is about 30 million. One of the biggest risk factors for diabetes is obesity. It’s no secret that obesity is consistently increasing. Diabetes type 2 is expected to increase, too.

Beta cells in our pancreas produce insulin, a hormone which regulates blood sugar levels. In case of diabetes type 2 patients, these beta cells become faulty, and as a result the insulin is produced in insufficient amounts or not produced at all. This in turn leads to increase in blood sugar levels.

Several studies in the past have hinted at a link between low levels of Vitamin D and increased risk of developing diabetes. What mechanisms are at play here, however, is something that was not established earlier.

However, this new study looked at the possibility of using Vitamin D to protect beta cells, and thereby control diabetes.

Inflammation causes diabetes, a fact that today is well-known. In this study, the researchers noted that the vitamin D receptor was a critical modulator of not only inflammation but also survival of beta cells.

The researchers also identified a compound which improved the action of these vitamin D receptors when it attached itself to vitamin D molecules. The name of this compound is iBRD9.

In mice with diabetes, the researchers found that iBRD9 was able to bring down the levels of blood glucose to the acceptable range. This treatment was found to be safe for mice. But will that be the case in humans as well? This is something we will only learn in time.

 

 

 

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