Vitamin D and Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Type 1 Diabetes Modulation

Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2022;22(8):815-833. doi: 10.2174/1871530322666220103114450.


Background: Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic autoimmune disease affecting people globally. Usually developed during childhood, T1D is characterized by the destruction of pancreatic β-cells due to immune cell attack and the establishment of an inflammatory process.

Objective: The study aimed to investigate the effects of vitamin D through its nuclear receptor and the ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) through their lipid derivatives in T1D modulation. Both components exert anti-inflammatory activity and act directly on cells of the immune system, attenuating the destruction of insulin-producing cells. Furthermore, they lead to a better glycemic level, reducing the need for insulin and a normal immune state, such as C-peptide maintenance.

Methods: Presently, our review highlights the significant studies that evaluated the supplementation of vitamin D and ω-3 PUFAs in humans and animal models in the modulation of T1D.

Conclusion: The data collected suggests that supplementation can provide potential benefits, mainly when done early in the diagnosis, since it reduces the need for insulin and the risk of complications generated by the disease.

Keywords: Type 1 diabetes (T1D); animal models; anti-inflammatory; supplementation; vitamin D; ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3*
  • Humans
  • Insulin
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamins


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Insulin
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D