Diabetes and the vitamin D connection
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Holick, M.F. Curr Diab Rep (2008) 8: 393. doi:10.1007/s11892-008-0068-0
Vitamin D deficiency, which is common in children and adults, causes rickets, osteomalacia, and osteoporosis. Most organs and immune cells have a vitamin D receptor, and some also have the capacity to metabolize 25-hydroxyvitamin D to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D is a potent immunomodulator that also enhances the production and secretion of several hormones, including insulin. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased risk of type 1 diabetes. Glycemic control and insulin resistance are improved when vitamin D deficiency is corrected and calcium supplementation is adequate. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D (measure of vitamin D status) of less than 20 ng/mL is vitamin D deficiency and 21 to 29 ng/mL is insufficiency. Children and adults need at least 1000 IU of vitamin D per day to prevent deficiency when there is inadequate sun exposure.