REVIEW ARTICLE


Vitamin D and Type I Diabetes



Silvia Savastio1, *, Francesco Cadario1, 2, Sheila Beux1, Alberto Giorgis1, Giulia Genoni1, Marco Bagnati3, Giorgio Bellomo3, Gianni Bona1, 2, Luigi Maiuri1, 2
1 Division of Pediatrics, Department of Health Sciences, University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy
2 Interdisciplinary Research Center of Autoimmune Diseases (IRCAD), University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy
3 Central Laboratory of Maggiore della Carità Hospital, University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy


© 2018 Savastio et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Division of Pediatrics, Department of Health Sciences, University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy; Tel: 003903213733793; E-mail: savastio.silvia@gmail.com


Abstract

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in bone metabolism but is also endowed with the capability of modulating inflammatory and immune function. Recent studies reported a relationship between low vitamin D levels and several autoimmune diseases such as Type 1 Diabetes. Vitamin D regulates the expression of over 200 genes, also related to immune modulation, suggesting a putative role in these diseases pathogenesis. This review overviews the most recent advances on the association between vitamin D and increased risk of Type 1 Diabetes as well as between vitamin D and either glucose homeostasis or insulin sensitivity. The effects of vitamin D in modulating the immune response and balancing anti-inflammatory cytokines, suggest that vitamin D system may represent an unforeseen target for the design of novel strategies for the treatment of patients with autoimmune diseases and in particular Type 1 Diabetes.

Keywords: Childhood, Type 1 Diabetes, Autoimmune Disease, Vitamin D, Glycemic control, Extra-skeletal effects.