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Diabetes

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Diabetes is a chronic problem affecting a lot of people in developed world. Diabetes occurs when there are condescending content of sugar in the blood. This occurs when the body is unable to manufacture adequate levels of insulin. However, diabetes mellitus type two (also called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus) is a metabolic problem characterized by high blood sugar in the circumstance of insulin struggle and relative insulin deficiency. Early symptoms of diabetes include; deep thirst, fatigue, blurry vision, persistent hunger, kidney infections or slow healing of kidneys, increased urination, numbness in fingers or toes and erectile dysfunction. Diabetes mellitus occurs in as a hereditary disease or can easily affect people suffering from obesity. Research and studies have shown that type 2 diabetes makes up about 90 percent of cases of diabetes. The other 10 percent is mainly due to diabetes mellitus type 1 and gestational diabetes.  As such, necessary steps must be taken to curb the rising cases of diabetes mellitus type 2.

Frequent studies have been carried out in order to examine the link between intake of vitamin D and calcium and chance of type 2 diabetes mellitus.  The Nurses’ Health Study followed 83,779 women from the 1976 - 2000 who had no prior history of cardiovascular disease, cancer or diabetes at baseline for the onset of type 2 diabetes. The participants’ intake of calcium and vitamin D were assessed every two to four years. During the twenty four years of follow-up, 4,843 cases of type 2 diabetes mellitus were documented.

The study was initiated when 121,700 female nurses between the ages of 30 – 55 years, residing in 11 states in the U.S. were asked to reply to an initial mailed questionnaire on their lifestyle, medical history and any other disease factors they may be suffering from. The women’s dietary intake was the assessed with semi-quantitative validated Food Frequency Questionnaire first in 1980 and subsequently in 1984, 1986, 1990, 1994, and 1998. Dietary consumption of calcium, vitamin D and other supplements was calculated by multiplying the regularity of intake of each foodstuff items with the known nutrient content. The use of supplements was evaluated at baseline year and every 2 years thereafter. The use of Vitamin D supplement was evaluated starting in 1984. Wholesome consumption of vitamin D and calcium was arrived at by adding intake from diverse food sources to ingestion from vitamin D and multivitamins and calcium supplements. The validity of vitamin D consumption as a substitute of body vitamin D stores was acknowledged in this followers. Energy-rich foods are presented as a percentage of total daily energy. Ingestion of other foods that are linked with total energy intake (calcium and vitamin D included) was adjusted for total energy consumption with regression analysis. 

Other non-dietary variables such as  physical activity, body weight, alcohol, smoking status, and drug abuse, family history of diabetes,  hypertension and high cholesterol were self-reported on all two-year questionnaires. By using data acquired from the 1976 questionnaire, the women’s body mass index was computed and noted down. After every two years, the women were asked whether they had been diagnosed with diabetes. Each of the self reported diabetes diagnosis was followed with supplemental questionnaire that asked about diabetes symptoms, diagnostic tests, and treatments received.

How consumption of vitamin D affects chances of type 2 diabetes is not well understood although both impaired pancreatic β-cell function and insulin resistance have been reported with vitamin D deficiency. But it is a known fact that the main function of vitamin D is to enable intestinal calcium absorption. As such, it is thought that inadequate calcium absorption may be the culprit mechanism for the perceived associations in the study, either due to low calcium consumption or vitamin D insufficiency. Other evidence from cross-sectional studies suggests that altered calcium homeostasis and vitamin D intake may hold a notable role in the growth of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The role of vitamin D in type 2 diabetes is proposed by numerous studies that indicate that little serum absorptions of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH) D] are linked with impaired glucose tolerance and leading to development of type 2 diabetes. The importance of calcium in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus is, however, suggested indirectly by cross-sectional studies which indicate that high consumption of products rich in calcium has been found to be inversely linked with large body weight and obesity. Women who consumed calcium at least ≥1,200 mg per day were found to have a much lower chance of contracting type 2 diabetes mellitus compared with women who consumed less than 600 mg per day.  This proposal is further supported by data demonstrating that calcium is essential in normalizing glucose intolerance as a result of vitamin D deficiency.

After adjusting for numerous latent confounders, it was found that vitamin D consumption is not involved in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nevertheless, the relative risk (RR) of type 2 diabetes was lower in women who had a high intake of calcium and vitamin D as compared to their counterparts who had less consumption. The outcome of this research suggests that there is a beneficial role for consuming both calcium and vitamin D in curtailing the hazard of type 2 diabetes.

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