Vitamin D in Childhood Reduces Type 1 Diabetes Risk

November 6, 2017 | Wellness Resources

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Vitamin D in Childhood Reduces Type 1 Diabetes Risk
A new study published in the journal Diabetes reported a connection between vitamin D and diabetes risk. Infants and children who had adequate blood levels of the sunshine vitamin D were less likely to develop islet autoimmunity, an immune system attack on the islet cells of the pancreas later in life. The attack on islet cells eventually causes the beta cells to stop producing insulin. This condition is a precursor in the development of type 1 diabetes.

There has been discussion for years about whether or not vitamin D can actually prevent type 1 diabetes, but this exciting research is a big advancement toward that conclusion. Vitamin D has a dampening effect on excessive and inappropriate behavior of immune cells. In other words, it helps reduce the amount of inflammation produced by immune cells. A vitamin D deficiency may be an underlying and possibly causative issue for almost any autoimmune problem.

How Much Vitamin D Do Kids Need?

Vitamin D deficiency is becoming a serious epidemic. Statistics from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) show that more than 90% of people with darker skin pigments (Blacks, Hispanics and Asians) and 75% of the Caucasian population living in the United States suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Low vitamin D in American children is as high as 70 percent during the winter.

Many people think their children get enough vitamin D because they play outside, but supplementation may still be necessary. Furthermore, sun exposure during the winter months in the Northern states of America may not be enough to make adequate vitamin D due to a low ultraviolet index. Researchers now recommend up to 1,000 IU of vitamin D for most children during the winter months or up to 4,000 IU per day in overweight children.

Vitamin D is absolutely essential to your health. Vitamin D deficiency is a growing concern for both U.S. children and adults alike. The bottom line is fairly simple: Ensure your whole family gets enough vitamin D this winter!

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