According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 27 million people in the United States have Type 2 diabetes.
A recent study published in the journal Cell shed light on the potential of vitamin D to slow down the onset of diabetes by providing protection to the beta cells found in the pancreas. These beta cells play a crucial role in the production and release of insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating glucose levels in the bloodstream. When beta cells produce inadequate insulin, it can lead to harmful glucose buildup in the blood.
Researchers from the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, utilized a compound called iBRD9 to enhance the activity of vitamin D receptors, which had a beneficial impact on the beta cells in mice, effectively bringing their glucose levels back to a normal range.
The study’s senior author, Ronald Evans, pointed out that diabetes is closely associated with inflammation. Through their investigation, they identified the vitamin D receptor as a significant regulator of both inflammation and the survival of beta cells.
By combining iBRD9 with vitamin D, scientists were able to activate specific genes, triggering an anti-inflammatory response that safeguarded the beta cells, even under challenging and stressful conditions. This finding opens up new possibilities for potential treatments that could help protect beta cells and delay the progression of diabetes.