MAR 20, 2015 12:58 PM PDT

Vitamin D prevents diabetes and clogged arteries in mice


In recent years, a deficiency of vitamin D has been linked to type 2 diabetes and heart disease, two illnesses that commonly occur together and are the most common cause of illness and death in Western countries. Both disorders are rooted in chronic inflammation, which leads to insulin resistance and the buildup of artery-clogging plaque.

Now, new research in mice at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests vitamin D plays a major role in preventing the inflammation that leads to type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis. Further, the way key immune cells behave without adequate vitamin D may provide scientists with new therapeutic targets for patients with those disorders.

The study appears March 19 in the journal Cell Reports.

Studying mice that lacked the ability to process vitamin D in immune cells involved in inflammation, the researchers found that the animals made excess glucose, became resistant to insulin action and accumulated plaques in their blood vessels.

"The finding that vitamin D helps regulate glucose metabolism may explain previous epidemiological studies identifying an increased risk of diabetes in patients with vitamin D deficiency," said senior investigator Carlos Bernal-Mizrachi, MD, associate professor of medicine and of cell biology and physiology. "In our study, inactivation of the vitamin D receptor induced diabetes and atherosclerosis, so normalizing vitamin D levels may have the opposite effect."
In addition, he said inadequate vitamin D turned immune cells into transporters of fat. That may help researchers better understand how diabetes and atherosclerosis are linked and provide new possibilities for therapy.

Source: sciencedaily.com
About the Author
You May Also Like
SEP 22, 2018
Immunology
SEP 22, 2018
Could Diet Protect Against Brain Inflammation?
Immune brain cell inflammation due to aging can be mitigated through a high fiber diet...
SEP 25, 2018
Videos
SEP 25, 2018
Heal Faster
Active patient vs passive patient...
SEP 26, 2018
Immunology
SEP 26, 2018
What Superbug? A New Antibiotic Contender
Scientists from a biotechnology corporation, Genentech, have altered a protein that blocks a signaling pathway in gram-negative bacteria to engineer a new antibiotic, currently called G0775,...
NOV 13, 2018
Immunology
NOV 13, 2018
What Do Heart Disease and Autoimmune Diseases Have in Common?
Researchers at Washington University identify the link between autoimmune diseases and heart disease in mouse model...
DEC 04, 2018
Immunology
DEC 04, 2018
Natural HIV Resistance
A team of scientists discover unique immune reactions to the one percent of HIV infected patients that are able to fend off viral propagation without antiretroviral therapy...
DEC 12, 2018
Immunology
DEC 12, 2018
The Structure of Immunity
A group of researchers describes the biophysical and structural characteristics of an immune regulating protein called human T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain-containing protein-3 (hTIM-...
Loading Comments...