Vitamin D for children may prevent diabetes

Vitamin D supplements in infancy may protect against the development of type-1 diabetes, a UK review has found.

The analysis of data from four European case-control studies found that children given vitamin D supplements were around 30 per cent less likely to develop type-1 diabetes than those never given additional vitamin D.

This finding was supported by a cohort study showing that children diagnosed with rickets had an increased risk of developing type-1 diabetes.

Type-1 diabetes risk was found to be further reduced in children given higher doses of vitamin D, or who were given the supplements more regularly.

This is consistent with the higher rates of type-1 diabetes seen in higher latitude countries where endogenous vitamin D production is low because of lower levels of sunlight exposure.

GPletters@haymarket.com

Arch Dis Child Online 2008

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