Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Can Risk of Child Diabetes Be Lowered By Taking Vitamin D?

Diabetes is a chronic disease in which human body does not produce enough of the hormone insulin, or cannot make proper use of the insulin it produces (insulin resistance). A diabetic, who does not manage the condition seriously, could likely become a candidate for heart disease.

There are 2 types of diabetes, namely Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes.

Type-1 diabetes is a condition in which beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin are destroyed in early childhood by the body's immune system. The disease is very common among people of European descent, affecting around 2 million Europeans and North Americans. The reasons are still unclear.

Type 2 diabetes, which is far more common, is associated mainly with an unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle. It is becoming epidemic in many developed or fast-developing countries.

New evidence reported on March 13, 2008 in specialist journal “Archives of Disease in Childhood” that taking vitamin D supplements in infancy might help a youngster prevent Type-1 diabetes.

Doctors from St. Mary's Hospital for Women and Children in Manchester, northern England looked at 5 studies in which children were monitored from infancy to early childhood to see if vitamin D supplements could reduce the risk of becoming diabetic.

The risk of getting diabetes was reduced 29 percent in children who took extra vitamin D as compared to those who had not.

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