Objective: Little is known about the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. On the basis of adult studies showing that vitamin D improves insulin sensitivity and decreases inflammatory cytokines linked to microvascular complications, we hypothesized that treating vitamin D deficiency in adolescents with type 1 diabetes would improve glycemia and reduce inflammatory markers.
Research design and methods: This was a randomized, prospective, crossover study of 25 adolescents with type 1 diabetes for at least a year (aged: 13-21 yr; 62% female; 62% Hispanic) and vitamin D deficiency (25-OH vitamin D ≤30 ng/mL). Subjects received vitamin D3 (20 000 IU/week) for 6 months, either immediately or after 6 months of observation.
Results: At baseline, 63% of subjects screened were vitamin D deficient and randomized. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) was significantly higher in the vitamin D deficient group compared with the sufficient group (medians: 0.36 vs. 0.18) (p = 0.026), whereas neither C-reactive protein (CRP) nor tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) differed. Vitamin D treatment increased serum levels of 25-OH vitamin D from 22 ± 5.3 to 34.3 ± 12.1 ng/mL (p < 0.01). However, treatment did not affect glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), insulin dosage, CRP, interleukin-6 (IL-6), or TNF-α.
Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in the adolescent type 1 diabetes population, and could be associated with changes in inflammatory markers. However, vitamin D repletion over 6 months did not affect glycemia or markers of inflammation in our study, highlighting the need for additional research to validate these findings.
Keywords: adolescents; inflammatory cytokines; microvascular complications; type 1 diabetes; vitamin D.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.