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Type II diabetes and vitamin D – review Jan 2012

Focus on Vitamin D, Inflammation and Type 2 Diabetes

Nutrients 2012, 4(1), 52-67; doi:10.3390/nu4010052, Review
Carlos Eduardo Andrade Chagas 1 , Maria Carolina Borges 2 , Lígia Araújo Martini 2 and Marcelo Macedo Rogero 2, Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

1 Center for Nutrition Practice and Research, Department of Education, Institute of Biosciences, São Paulo State University, Botucatu, SP 18618-970, Brazil
2 Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo 01246-904, Brazil
Received: 2 December 2011; in revised form: 29 December 2011 / Accepted: 9 January 2012 / Published: 20 January 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vitamin D)

The initial observations linking vitamin D to type 2 diabetes in humans came from studies showing that both healthy and diabetic subjects had a seasonal variation of glycemic control. Currently, there is evidence supporting that vitamin D status is important to regulate some pathways related to type 2 diabetes development. Since the activation of inflammatory pathways interferes with normal metabolism and disrupts proper insulin signaling, it is hypothesized that vitamin D could influence glucose homeostasis by modulating inflammatory response. Human studies investigating the impact of vitamin D supplementation on inflammatory biomarkers of subjects with or at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes are scarce and have generated conflicting results. Based on available clinical and epidemiological data, the positive effects of vitamin D seem to be primarily related to its action on insulin secretion and sensitivity and secondary to its action on inflammation. Future studies specifically designed to investigate the role of vitamin D on type 2 diabetes using inflammation as the main outcome are urgently needed in order to provide a more robust link between vitamin D, inflammation and type 2 diabetes.

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