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Av. Diabetol. 2006;22(3):187-193

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Vitamin D and diabetes

Revisión - Vol.22 N.3  julio-septiembre 2006
C. Mathieu1, C. Gysemans2

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The existence of impaired glucose tolerance in vitamin D-deficient individuals and the discovery of receptors for 1,25- dihydroxyvitamin D3 –the activated form of vitamin D– in islet b-cells and immune cells, the main cells involved in the pathogenesis of both types of diabetes, have aroused scientific and clinical interest in the potential role of vitamin D in the pathogenesis of the diseases, but even more so with respect to its therapeutic potential in the prevention of both forms of diabetes. Vitamin D deficiency is detrimental to insulin synthesis and secretion in animal models, as well as in humans, and predisposes them to type 2 diabetes. Interventions with pharmacological doses of 1,25- dihydroxyvitamin D3 or newer structural analogues can delay onset of type 1 diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice, mainly through immunomodulation, but, to date, no human data are available. Epidemiological studies suggest links between onset of type 1 diabetes and vitamin D deficiency in early life and with certain polymorphisms of the vitamin D receptor. At present, the most important conclusion from the studies on vitamin D and diabetes is that avoiding vitamin D deficiency is a priority not only for calcium and bone issues, but also for diabetes prevention.


Correspondencia: Chantal Mathieu. LEGENDO. Campus Gasthuisberg O&N1. Katholieke Universiteit
Leuven. Herestraat 49. 3000 Leuven (Belgium). Mail: chantal.mathieu@med.

Palabras clave

diabetes vitamin D vitamin D receptor polymorphism vitamin D deficiency


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