Using Vitamin D to Treat Type II Diabetes
Diabetes is one of the most famous diseases in the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 27 million people in the United States have type 2 diabetes. It results from the dysfunction of beta cells in the pancreases that store and release insulin hormone that controls sugar levels in the blood. When beta cell damage, it cannot produce insulin and this leading to people becoming reliant on insulin injections.
Type II diabetes is a lifelong disease that cannot be cured. It happens when the body becomes resistant to insulin or it cannot produce it and the body could not control the sugar levels in the right way. The pancreatic cells which produce insulin hormone are called beta cells. Insulin helps to store glucose to manage and control its level in the blood in the right way. If beta cells damaged, the glucose level will increase, and it will accumulate in the blood leading to toxicity in the other cells and tissues.
A new method discovered from a trial on mice with diabetes that made by Researchers from the Salk Institute in the US may help in the treatment of damaged beta cells. This new method depends on vitamin D which showed beneficial use in repairing the damaged beta cells in a mouse model.
left1079500Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, the body gets its own vitamin D from a few natural foods and from the sunlight exposure. The liver produces the active vitamin D as it converts its inert form to an active form called 25-hydroxyvitamin D. It is required for the regulations of calcium and phosphorus found in the body. Vitamin D is involved in the modulation of cell growth, bone maintenance, neuromuscular activity, and immune function. Studies showed that insulin-producing cells in the pancreas (beta cells) have vitamin D receptors and a study published in the journal PLOS One revealed that low blood levels of vitamin D have been linked to an increase in the diabetic risk.
Obesity could cause several diseases. It is one of the major risk factors. It is related to low levels of vitamin D and low levels of vitamin D has been related to beta cell dysfunction and insulin resistance which is considered as an inflammatory state related to high cytokine levels which through oxidative stress cause endothelial dysfunction. By supplying vitamin D, markers of this inflammatory state are decreased, and endothelial function improved, so the addition of vitamin D has the potential of not only treating type 2 diabetes but also prohibiting cardiac events.
The experiment was done as follows: first using embryonic mouse stem cells to create pancreatic beta cells. Then conducting a screening test to find out the types of compounds which could boost the survival of pancreatic beta cells. the researchers identified iBRD9 (BRD9 inhibitor) by isolating vitamin D receptor in the beta cells and it seemed that iBRD9 enhance the activity of vitamin D receptor and that boost the survival opportunities of beta cells in a petri dish. They then found that iBRD9 and vitamin D combination on a mouse model could make the blood glucose level reduced to its normal level.
By applying this method some genes could be expressed at much higher levels than before in the disease. Although the compounds used did not cause any side effects on the mouse model until now, but there are essential things to do before any drug can be used in humans. Researchers believe that this method could be developed to be explored in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.