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Mice designed to get diabetes often failed to get diabetes if they had lots of vitamin D during their lives – Feb 2014

Dietary supplementation with high doses of regular vitamin D3 safely reduces diabetes incidence in nod mice when given early and long-term

Diabetes February 18, 2014
Tatiana Takiishi1, Lei Ding1⇑, Femke Baeke1, Isabella Spagnuolo2, Guido Sebastiani2, Jos Laureys1, Annemieke Verstuyf1, Geert Carmeliet1, Francesco Dotta2, Tom L. Van Belle1, Conny Gysemans1 and Chantal Mathieu1⇑
1Clinical and Experimental Endocrinology (CEE), Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, KU LEUVEN, Campus Gasthuisberg O&N I Herestraat 49 – box 902, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
2Diabetes Unit, Department of Medicine, Surgery and Neurosciences, University of Siena and Fondazione Umberto Di Mario ONLUS – Toscana Life Science Park, Siena, Italy
Corresponding author: Chantal Mathieu, E-mail: chantal.mathieu at uzleuven.be

High doses of the active form of vitamin D3, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) prevent diabetes in the non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse but also elicit unwanted calcemic side-effects. Because immune cells themselves can convert vitamin D3 into 1,25(OH)2D3 locally, we hypothesized that dietary vitamin D3 can also prevent disease. Thus, we evaluated whether dietary administration of high doses of regular vitamin D3 (800 IU per day) during different periods of life (pregnancy and lactation, early-life (3-14 weeks of age), or lifelong (3-35 weeks of age)) safely prevents diabetes in NOD mice.
We found that only lifelong treatment raised serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 from 173 nmol/L in controls to 290 nmol/L, without inducing signs of calcemic or bone toxicity, and significantly reduced diabetes development in both male and female NOD mice. This diabetes protection by vitamin D3 correlated with preserved pancreatic insulin content and improved insulitis scores. Moreover, vitamin D3 treatment decreased interferon-γ-positive CD8+ T-cells and increased CD4+(CD25+)FoxP3+ T-cells in pancreatic draining lymph nodes.

In conclusion, this study shows for the first time that high doses of regular dietary vitamin D3 can safely prevent diabetes in NOD mice when administered lifelong, although caution is warranted with regards to administering equivalently high doses in humans.

NOD Mice Wikipedia

The incidence of spontaneous diabetes in the NOD mouse is 60-80% in females and 20-30% in males.

800 IU is a lot of vitamin D for a mouse

Mice appear to weigh about 1 ounce = 1/16 of a pound.
A 100 lb mouse would need 16 X 100 X 800 IU = 1,280,000 IU – which is far far to much for humans.

Let’s think about increasing the vitamin D levels during a human lifetime by a similar ratio.

Mouse 173 nmol ==> 290 nmol = 60 % increase
Perhaps consider a human with 30 ng Vitamin D level getting a 60% increase ( 48 ng)

See also VitaminDWiki