Is Vitamin D Linked to Type 2 Diabetes? - Chromatography Explores
Oct 25 2020
Type 2 diabetes is a relatively common condition which can have serious consequences if not treated correctly. Type 2 diabetes occurs because of the insulin not working effectively in the body. What causes this to happen is not fully understood and there are many factors that can affect a person’s susceptibility to getting diabetes. Diabetes can also lead to many complications, both acute and chronic.
In a recent paper published in the journal Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease, researchers in Doha, Qatar have investigated whether vitamin D deficiency was associated with one of the complications of diabetes, diabetes retinopathy. Could vitamin D levels be associated with diabetes retinopathy? Chromatography helped the researchers to explore any links.
Insulin in the blood
There are many causes of diabetes, and often people will have several factors that contribute to the likelihood of them getting diabetes. But the most likely cause is a genetic predisposition – it tends to run in families. Diabetes is the result of the hormone insulin not working correctly in the body. Insulin is released by the pancreas in response to glucose in the bloodstream. Insulin allows the glucose in our blood to enter our cells where it is used as fuel. If insulin is not working correctly, then blood sugar levels will rise above normal levels. This causes more insulin to be released.
If your blood sugar levels are always high, damage to your blood vessels can occur. There are many blood vessels in the eye supplying blood to the retina. Damage to these blood vessels means they can become blocked or leak. A reduced blood flow to the retina can damage the retina so that it doesn’t work properly. If left undiagnosed or untreated, this can lead to blindness. These complications, caused by diabetes, are known as diabetic retinopathy. This means that people with diabetes should have regular eye screening to make sure that retinopathy is picked up in the early stages where symptoms are not always noticed.
Vitamin D and retinopathy
In the paper referenced above, researchers studied whether there was a link between vitamin D deficiency and diabetes retinopathy. Considering the climate, it is perhaps surprising that vitamin D levels are usually low in the Middle East. The researchers studied 750 Qatari patients, 460 with type-s diabetes and 290 relatives without the condition. Blood and urine samples were taken after an overnight fast and analysed using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. The use of these techniques is discussed in the article, Selective and Robust UHPLC-MS/MS Assay for the Determination of Acrylamide Levels in Food Samples. The researchers conclude that data showed that both 25(OH)D3 and the active form 1,25(OH)2D3 (forms of vitamin D) were highly associated with diabetic retinopathy.
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