A study led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine reports a correlation between vitamin D status and risk of type 1 diabetes.
The researchers used serum samples from the US Department of Defense Serum Repository, which stores millions of blood samples for disease surveillance.
Dr Cedric Garland, PhD, and colleagues analyzed 1000 serum samples from healthy people who later developed type 1 diabetes and 1000 healthy matched controls, whose blood was drawn on or near the same date.
By comparing serum concentrations, the scientists were able to determine the optimal serum level needed to decrease one’s risk of developing type 1 diabetes. Based on the present research findings, Dr Garland estimates that a vitamin D serum level of 50 ng/ml is needed to decrease ones risk.
“While there are a few conditions that influence vitamin D metabolism, for most people, 4000 IU per day of vitamin D3 will be needed to achieve the effective levels,” Garland explains. “This beneficial effect is present at these intakes only for vitamin D3. Reliance should not be placed on different forms of vitamin D and mega doses should be avoided, as most of the benefits for prevention of disease are for doses less than 10,000 IU/day.”
Gorham ED, Garland CF, Burgi AA, Mohr SB, Zeng K, Hofflich H, Kim JJ, Rocordi C. Lower prediagnostic serum 25-hydrocyvitamin D concentration is associated with higher risk of insulin-requiring diabetes: a nested case-control study. Diabetologia. December 2012.