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three-quarters of youths with diabetes insufficient in vitamin D

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Ellen, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

    Oct 22, 2005
    Public release date: 15-Dec-2008
    [ Print Article | E-mail Article | Close Window ]

    Contact: Kira Jastive
    Joslin Diabetes Center

    Joslin research finds nearly three-quarters of youths with diabetes insufficient in vitamin D

    Study urges supplementation to protect bones later in life

    BOSTON – [Dec. 15, 2008] – Three-quarters of youths with type 1 diabetes were found to have insufficient levels of vitamin D, according to a study by researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center – findings that suggest children with the disease may need vitamin D supplementation to prevent bone fragility later in life.
    "To our surprise, we found extremely high rates of vitamin D inadequacy," said Lori Laffel, M.D., M.P.H., Chief of the Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Section at Joslin, Investigator in the Section on Genetics and Epidemiology, and senior author of the paper. "We didn't expect to find that only 24 percent of the study population would have adequate levels."
    The study, which appears in the January 2009 issue of The Journal of Pediatrics, measured levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D in 128 youths with type 1 diabetes ranging in age from 1.5 to 17.5 years. The study sample included subjects with recent onset of diabetes as well as those who had long-established diabetes.
    It found 24 percent had sufficient levels, 61 percent with insufficient levels and 15 percent to be deficient or having the lowest levels. Generally, those with deficient levels were the oldest of the subjects. In fact, 85 percent of the adolescents in the sample demonstrated inadequate vitamin D levels.
    The paper notes that diabetes itself can negatively impact bone health and is associated with a modest reduction in bone mineral density and strength and an increase in fracture risk among those middle-aged and older. At the same time, vitamin D deficiency in infants and children is associated with bone deformation, while less severe vitamin D insufficiency prevents youths from attaining their optimal bone mass and may contribute to increased fracture risk later in life, the paper adds.
    For these reasons, vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency poses an increased risk for children with diabetes, the paper says. In addition to reduced sun exposure, diminished milk intake, substituted by intake of sugar-free beverages among youth with diabetes, may account for inadequate vitamin D levels.
    "In addition to inadequate levels of vitamin D, adolescent patients with type 1 diabetes potentially possess multiple risk factors for increased skeletal fragility," the paper notes.
    The researchers were interested in looking at vitamin D levels because of the vitamin's presumed role in immune modulation and because it is thought to possibly play a role in the occurrence of type 1 diabetes.
    In addition, there has been a rise in vitamin D deficiency among children in general, mostly among those living in northern climates where sun exposure is lowest, and also in association with the increased use of sun block, recommended in efforts to prevent skin cancer. Protection from over-exposure to sunlight through use of sunscreens remains an important public health initiative, Laffel stressed.
    "We need to make sure all youths in general are getting enough vitamin D in their diets," commented Britta Svoren, M.D., the primary author of the paper and a member of Joslin's Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Section and the Section on Genetics and Epidemiololgy. "And, we need to pay particular attention to those with diabetes as they appear to be at an even higher risk of vitamin D deficiency. For children who are not drinking sufficient amounts of vitamin D fortified milk, we are encouraging them to take a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU daily. Many cereals are fortified with vitamin D as well."


    The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Charles H. Hood Foundation and a Pediatric Fellowship Grant from Eli Lilly and Company.
    Also contributing to the research were Lisa K. Volkening, M.A. and Jamie R. Wood, M.D., both of Joslin.
    About Joslin Diabetes Center
    Joslin Diabetes Center is the world's preeminent diabetes research and clinical care organization. Joslin is dedicated to ensuring people with diabetes live long, healthy lives and offers real hope and progress toward diabetes prevention and a cure for the disease. Founded in 1898 by Elliott P. Joslin, M.D., Joslin is an independent nonprofit institution affiliated with Harvard Medical School. For more information about Joslin, call 1-800-JOSLIN-1 or visit www.joslin.org.

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  2. karpoozi123

    karpoozi123 Approved members

    Dec 16, 2005
    Yes, this is very important. I had mine checked and my level was DANGEROUSLY low.
    :eek: until then I never thought about vitamin D...
  3. wdhinn89

    wdhinn89 Approved members

    Mar 31, 2007
    So was mine. I now take a high dose of vitamin D once a week.

    2 years ago my pediatrician called me and told me that it was found that vitamin D boosted your immune system. He wanted me to start giving my daughter (non D) a vitamin D pill daily to boost her immune system especially since my son had D. I had them test my son's level last endo visit and will find out the results at tomorrows appointment.
  4. frizzyrazzy

    frizzyrazzy Approved members

    Dec 23, 2006
    do we know the percentage of youths in the general population with insufficient vitamin D??

    for what it's worth - Ian drinks milk like it's going out of style. Both my kids do - as does my dh. So I doubt they're lacking in vit d.
  5. wdhinn89

    wdhinn89 Approved members

    Mar 31, 2007
    The sun is actually our best source of vitamin D. Usually older people are insufficient in vitamin D because they do not go out very often or are homebound.

    I think it really has something to do with your bodies ability to absorb the vitamin D and that is where the problem lies with people who are severely low vs. slightly low.
  6. buggle

    buggle Approved members

    Mar 24, 2008
    Our endo said to make sure Brendan supplemented with 400IU of Vit D. There's been a link with T1 and Vit D for a while now. So, I give it to him just to be safe.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
  7. Soccermom

    Soccermom Approved members

    Nov 19, 2007
    this is a very interesting article. i just had a discussion with my bil (who is a dr) and is very interested in vitamin d and it's effect on health and diseases...he even went to the symposium at the nih on vitamin d. vitamin d experts from around the world came (who knew there was such a thing). he said most people are very vitamin d deficient (when you have yearly blood work drawn just ask for them to test your vitamin d level) and we all should take supplements...most people who don't live near the equator are not getting enough vitamin d in their diets.
  8. sam1nat2

    sam1nat2 Approved members

    Jan 24, 2007
    what sort of supplements do you give? Is a multivitamin sufficient??
  9. momandwifeoftype1s

    momandwifeoftype1s Approved members

    Mar 4, 2008
    Connor also drinks milk all the time. I will admit that I pooh-poohed the pediatrician's recommendation to give Connor supplemental Vitamin D when he was a baby. Oops! I did breastfeed him, and I thought that would prevent diabetes. Didn't seem to work though. I can't go back and change things, so we're moving on towards what we can do now.

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