Preventing Diabetes by Targeting Vitamin D Receptors

A new study says that vitamin D receptors could be the key to preventing type 2 diabetes. Researchers found that treating mice with vitamin D receptor agonists stops dedifferentiation in beta cells. That dedifferentiation is a known part of the process to developing type 2 diabetes and the key to shutting down those receptors was in vitamin D.

The study was conducted at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Western Australia and published in the journal Diabetes & Metabolism.

Vitamin D receptors in beta cells may be a major step in the diabetic process.

While studying the insulin-producing beta cells in mice, the study's authors found that in a high-glucose environment, the expression of vitamin D receptors in those cells was reduced. This meant that the cells were less efficient. By adding vitamin D and D-like compounds, the expression of vitamin D receptors increased and thus insulin production increased.

The LCA propionate vitamin D-like compound worked best, the researchers found. They are planning to continue research into its efficacy as a potential treatment for humans.

"Our investigation uncovered a compound," explains study co-author Abraham Neelankal John, also of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, "that appears to prevent the onset and delay the progression of prediabetes and early diabetes."

Source: MedicalNewsToday.com

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