Preventing type 1 diabetes is even better than reversing it! Since type 1 diabetes more frequently occurs in children and teenagers, why even risk decades of blood sugar checks, insulin injections, and all the complications of diabetes including visual impairment, potential kidney failure, and atherosclerotic disease – when there’s a proven means to prevent type 1 diabetes.
Sadly, this research was published in a major medical journal1 in 2001, thirteen years ago, and yet most of us have never heard of it from any newspapers, television, radio or any other ‘mainstream’ source. Even our doctors – unless they’re naturopathic doctors or physicians knowledgeable about natural medicine – have remained silent about this breakthrough.
And while preventing illness and disability is the goal of health care, keeping costs under control is important too. Imagine how much money could be saved if there were 80% less type 1 diabetics? Not just savings on blood tests and insulin injections, but savings from not needing to treat all of those devastating diabetic complications that occur later in the lives of type 1 diabetics.
Type 1 diabetes can be slashed by 80%? I must be kidding, right? Or the proof must have been a doubtful study reported in an obscure medical journal, or maybe an article in ‘just one of those natural medicine journals’, right? Not at all: The study started with 12,058 newborn infants, and followed (collected data) on 10,821 of them for 31 years.
It was published in The Lancet, one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals. The 31-year study ran from 1966 through 1997 and it concluded that those in the treatment group were 80% less likely to become type 1 diabetics than those who had received either less than the recommended treatment or no treatment at all. For the still-doubtful, let’s repeat: 10,821 people, 31 years, The Lancet. OK?
Up to 80% of type 1 diabetes prevented with a vitamin!
Are you wondering what this ‘miracle’ treatment is?” Let’s let the researchers reveal it: “In children who received vitamin D supplementation regularly, the risk was reduced by about 80% if the child had received at least the recommended dose compared with those receiving less.”
Yes, something as simple and inexpensive as this common vitamin CAN prevent 80% of type 1 diabetes from ever happening. The recommended amount of vitamin D was 2,000 International Units (2000 IU) daily for the first year of life. The data confirming which children were (and weren’t) given this amount were collected when the children ranged in age from seven to 24 months old.
If you try to talk with a ‘conventional’ doctor about giving an infant the same dosage of D used in this study, he or she will probably lecture you about endangering or even killing infants with amounts that vastly exceed ‘recommended’ amounts. The Institute of Medicine for adults recommends a paltry 600 IU daily. And the Academy of Pediatrics recommends even less, just 400 IU daily, for breastfed infants.
If you cared to, you might reply that none of the infants in this study who received this amount (2,000 IU daily) died or had adverse effects reported, and that 2,000 IU daily is less than an infant would obtain from sunshine if living (with mother and father of course) in any tropical area of the world. You can also repeat that there was 80% less type 1 diabetes in the next 31 years among the thousands of children who were given this amount compared with those who were given none. So why aren’t public health authorities even talking about trying to do the same here?
More D leads to lesstype 1 diabetes
The researchers also noted: “In view of the fact that vitamin D acts as an immunosuppressive agent, and that type 1 diabetes is believed to be an autoimmune disease, these findings are not surprising…” They also cited two prior publications2,3 which were not as rigorously done, but still showed significant reduction in type 1 diabetes following administration of vitamin D or cod liver oil, as well as another study4 which reported that concentrations of vitamin D (the active form, 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D) in the serum measured at matched time points throughout the year are lower in patients newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes than in healthy controls, which of course also suggests ‘more vitamin D, less type 1 diabetes’.
They also wrote that the effects of vitamin D in infancy may be life-long: “impairment of immune system functioning by a suboptimum vitamin D status in infancy could have long-term effects on immune responses later in life.” Even in conventional medicine circles it was known in 2001 (and agreed upon even more in 2014) that type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease. The researchers wrote: “vitamin D acts as an immunosuppressive agent… we believe that vitamin D might somehow inhibit the autoimmune reaction targeted towards the beta cells of the pancreas.”
However it works (and this is indeed likely the way), the incontrovertible fact is: vitamin D given in a sufficient quantity in infancy safely reduced the risk of type 1 diabetes by approximately 80%!!
By the way, have you heard, seen or read from any mainstream medical source or health ‘authority’ about all the other diseases this safe, effective, simple, and inexpensive natural treatment might prevent? Did you know that researchers have found that nearly all auto-immune diseases occur least in areas on or near the Earth’s equator (where nearly everyone gets more vitamin D by going outdoors into the sunshine) and occur progressively more with increasing distance from the equator? Imagine all the disease and suffering (and health care expense) that could be prevented with vitamin D! But that’s a subject for another time.
For now: Mums, some sunshine – without sunscreen or sunburn – for your baby. If you can’t do that (especially if you live in the UK) how about discussing vitamin D supplements with a practitioner skilled and knowledgeable in natural medicine?
Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Jonathan V. Wright
Nutrition & Healing
Vol. 8, Issue 5 – May 2014
Full references and citations for this article are available in the downloadable PDF version of the monthly Nutrition and Healing issue in which this article appears.