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Sufficient vitamin D levels in childhood may cut diabetes risk

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NEW YORK — Getting sufficient vitamin D during infancy and childhood can reduce the risk of islet autoimmunity as well as Type 1 diabetes in kids, a study has found.

Vitamin D has long been touted for its profound health benefits, ranging from combating asthma to warding off cancer and improving dental and bone health.

Researchers from University of Colorado in the US examined the association between vitamin D levels in the blood and islet autoimmunity. Islet autoimmunity, detected by antibodies that appear when the immune system attacks the islet cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, is a precursor to type 1 diabetes.

“For several years there has been controversy among scientists about whether vitamin D lowers the risk of developing of islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes,” said Jill Norris, from University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (CU Anschutz).

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic autoimmune disease that is increasing by 3-5 per cent annually worldwide, researchers said.

Vitamin D represents a candidate protective factor for Type 1 diabetes as it regulates the immune system and autoimmunity, the researchers said.

In the study, published in the journal Diabetes, the team searched for triggers and protective factors in 8,676 children with elevated Type 1 diabetes risk.

The study is the first to show that higher childhood vitamin D levels are significantly associated with a decreased risk of IA. “Since this association does not prove cause-and-effect, we look to future prospective studies to confirm whether a vitamin D intervention can help prevent type 1 diabetes,” Norris said.

In children with a genetic variant in the vitamin D receptor gene, vitamin D levels in infancy and childhood were lower in those that went on to develop islet autoimmunity compared with those that did not develop autoimmunity.

The researchers identified islet autoimmunity in 376 children and compared them with 1,041 children who did not.

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin our body requires to stay in the best of health, and the best source of vitamin D is sun exposure. But the best source of this vitamin for infants is their mother’s milk.

Young children can obtain optimum amount of vitamin D from yogurt, orange juice, milk and fish and short-time exposure to direct sunlight.

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Three arrested with tiger hides

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KATHMANDU- The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) on Tuesday arrested three persons in possession of tiger hides.

The CIB said that Man Bahadur Tamang of Shailung Rural Municipality in Dolakha; Lokmaya Gurung of Barpak Sulikot Rural Municipality in Gorkha district and Amar Singh of Tilathi Koiladi Rural Municipality in Saptari district were arrested from Budhanilkantha in the capital city acting on a tip off about their involvement in smuggling of animals’ hides and skeleton.

All three have been sent to the Division Forests Office, Kathmandu for further actions. According to the Superintendent of Police Sudip Giri, the alleged would be booked as per the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1973 and CITES Convention, 1975.

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