Saturday, April 30, 2011

Who Knew Sunlight Could Be Life Saving?

We know that lack of sunlight can cause depression called SAD (Seasonal Effect Disorder) but I didn't know that not having enough Vitamin D in our body could shorten the diabetic Lifespan.  What gives?

There's been much evidence that lack of sunshine is somehow linked to the increase in Type 1 diabetes, especially populations residing in the northern hemisphere. 

A study by Mohr and colleagues who looked at 51 regions world wide,and examined the link between Sun (Ultraviolet B) exposure and the incidence of Type 1 diabetes. This is what they concluded:
An association was found between low UVB irradiance and high incidence rates of type 1 childhood diabetes after controlling for per capita health expenditure. Incidence rates of type 1 diabetes approached zero in regions worldwide with high UVB irradiance, adding new support to the concept of a role of vitamin D in reducing the risk of the disease.
If you prefer a visual aid to illustrate the above:

A recent article written by Joergenson and company published in Diabetes Care, May 2011 issue studied the possible link between low levels of Vitamin D with Micovascular complications and Mortality rates in Type 1 diabetes. They concluded:

In patients with type 1 diabetes, severe vitamin D deficiency independently predicts all-cause mortality but not development of microvascular complications in the eye and kidney. Whether vitamin D substitution in type 1 diabetic patients can improve the prognosis remains to be investigated.
So do we supplement or not?  This study by Lee and colleugues not only explains the multiple benifits in having adaquate levels of  Vitamin D in the body but adds this regarding supplementation:
A study of 340 children ages 10 to 17 years found that increasing the intake of oral vitamin D 10-fold, from the currently recommended dose of 200 to 2,000 IU daily, was required to reach a 25(OH)D level of 30 ng/ml (the lower end of the optimal range)  The investigators concluded that doses equivalent to 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily were not only safe for adolescents, but also necessary for achieving the desirable vitamin D levels.
Time to stock up on Vit D and move somewhere south of my current parallel.  Any ideas?



S. B. Mohr & C. F. Garland & E. D. Gorham & F. C. Garland
The association between ultraviolet B irradiance, vitamin D status and incidence rates of type 1 diabetes in 51 regions worldwide.

Christel, Joergenson, MD, Hovind, Peter, DMSC, Schmedes, Anne, PHD, Parving, Hans-Henrik, DMSC, Rossing, Peter, DMSC. Vitamin D Levels, Microvascular Complications, and Mportality in Type 1 Diabetes Diabetes Care 34:10811085, 201.

Lee et al, Vitamin D Deficiency; An Important, Common, and Easily Treatable Cardiovascular Risk Factor? Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2008.

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