Can Increasing Vitamin D Prevent Type 1 Diabetes?

Finally there has been some hard science produced to back up what many health providers (and bloggers) have been saying for years.  There is a definite connection between Vitamin D intake and several auto-immune diseases but most notably, Type 1 Diabetes.

That is not a misprint.  We are not talking about Type 2 Diabetes here, (Would you like to know how to cure T2D?  Click here) we are talking about a definitive link between Type 1 Diabetes and Vitamin D intake in children.

Rates of T1D are Doubling every 20 Years

In a new study that was released earlier year on NCBI, some very eye-opening information was discussed.  In Western countries, the rate of T1D has been doubling every 20 years but Finland has managed to at first plateau their rates of new cases and recently have been able to decrease their rate of new cases.  How were they able to do that?  First a little history.

In Finland, the recommendation for daily vitamin D supplementation was gradually reduced from 4000-5000 IU in 1964 to 400 IU in 1992. At the same time, T1D increased by 350% in those aged 1-4 years, 100% in those aged 5-9 years, and 50% in those aged 10-14 years.  So as the recommended amounts of Vitamin D fell, the rates of T1D rose dramatically.  In 2006, Finland elected to fortify all dietary milk products with cholecalciferol which increased rates of serum Vitamin D.

A Possible Cure for T1D?

Moreover, there is an exciting new treatment for existing T1D patients that involves isolating dendritic cells from the patient’s peripheral blood, cultured with calcitriol, and then re-injected in an abdominal intradermal position to ‘teach’ the rest of the immune cells not to attack β-cells anymore.   So it is at least conceivable that we may be able to cure T1D in some cases using Vitamin D.  The science on this is early but exciting.

So what levels of Vitamin D should we aim for?

In one large birth cohort study, rates of T1D were reduced by 78% with 2000 IU of cholecalciferol per day.  In adults, we can have as much as 5000 IU with seemingly no downside and it is probable that most of us could tolerate more.  In an Ancestral Health paradigm this makes a lot of sense because our ancestors were probably outside most of the day, producing Vitamin D directly from the sun.  In fact it was so important that as our ancestors moved farther away from the equator, natural selection selected for paler and paler skin to increase our ability to pull sunlight into our body and convert it to Vitamin D.  The whole reason we have the different races and skin tones is because of how important Vitamin D is to our overall health.

How should you take Vitamin D?

The best way to get Vitamin D is to go outside and expose as much of your skin as possible to the sun for at least 15-20 minutes a day.  If you can’t do that then you can take a supplement.  Pure Vitamin Club will be coming out with a Vitamin D shortly and I am such a huge fan of their Magnesium that I will probably be adding Vitamin D to my order as soon as it is available.  In the meantime, you can order from Amazon.

Look for up to 5000 IU caplets so you only have to take one pill a day.  The pills are usually very small so they are easy to swallow if that is an issue for you.

Any questions?  Leave them in the comments below.  Thanks!

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Can Increasing Vitamin D Prevent Type 1 Diabetes

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