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Question:

From United Kingdom:

Lately, there has been a lot of publicity on a link between deficiency of vitamin D3 and developing type 1 diabetes. From what I understand, studies have shown a possibility of preventing the development of type 1 diabetes by having a high dose of D3 in infancy. Can a high dosage of D3 in the first year of life really prevent the development of diabetes? If so, why are all newborns not advised to take a supplement? Also, has any research been done into what a high dosage of D3 could do for a young child with already diagnosed diabetes? My daughter has had diabetes for over a year now, but I recently started giving her a D3 supplement. Due to our climate, a large portion of the population are lacking in this vitamin anyway and it can't do any harm.

Answer:

Excess vitamin D may cause some calcium and kidney problems. You are correct that in northern latitudes, in general, there is insufficient sun exposure. Coupled with over processed food and less than ideal calcium and vitamin intake from foods in general, it is likely that many millions of kids and adults are vitamin D insufficient or deficient. That is the likely cause of the epidemic of osteopenia and osteoporosis currently being evaluated. For your own child, you should estimate dietary calcium and vitamin D intake and then discuss this with your pediatrician, endocrinologist and/or dietitian to get individualized advice. It is also likely that the daily requirements for vitamin D will be revised upwards significantly, but this has not yet been pushed to its obvious conclusion from a public health perspective almost anywhere. Whether or not vitamin D can delay or prevent type 1 diabetes is mostly speculative based upon some interesting animal studies. Human studies have not been so conclusive, but there are some trials being proposed that may answer such a question.

SB

DTQ-20081006192356
Original posting 3 Nov 2008
Posted to Research: Causes and Prevention

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:16
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