The role of vitamin A in diabetesJune 13, 2017
There has been no known link between diabetes and vitamin A - until now. A new study suggests that the vitamin improves the insulin producing β-cell´s function.
The researchers initially discovered that insulin-producing beta-cells contain a large quantity of a cell surface receptor for vitamin A.
"There are no unnecessary surface receptors in human cells. They all serve a purpose but which, in many cases, is still unknown and because of that they are called "orphan" receptors. When we discovered that insulin cells have a cell surface expressed receptor for vitamin A, we thought it was important to find out why and what the purpose is of a cell surface receptor interacting with vitamin A mediating a rapid response to vitamin A", explains Albert Salehi, senior researcher at the Lund University Diabetes Centre in Sweden.
The researchers believe that the purpose, in this particular case, is that vitamin A plays an important role for the development of beta-cells in the early stages of life, but also for a proper function during the remaining life especially during pathophysiological conditions, i.e some inflammatory conditions.
Albert Salehi and his research team, together with their colleagues at the University of Gothenburg, King's College (London) and the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, have mapped 220 different receptors on the surface of the beta cell, whose features are still not fully known. One of the findings is the cell surface expressed receptor for vitamin A.
In order to study the role of the vitamin in cases of diabetes, the researchers worked with insulin cells from mice and non-diabetic and type 2 diabetic donors. By partially blocking the vitamin A receptor and challenging the cells with sugar, they could see that the cells' ability to secrete insulin deteriorated.
"We saw close to a 30 per cent reduction", says Albert Salehi, adding that impaired cell survival and insulin secretion are key causes of type 2 diabetes.
The same tendency could be seen when comparing insulin cells from type 2 diabetic donors. Cells from patients with type 2 diabetes were less capable of insulin secretion compared with cells from people without diabetes.
The researchers also saw that the beta-cells' resistance to inflammation decreases in the absence of vitamin A. In case of a complete deficiency, the cells die. The discovery may also be significant for certain types of type 1 diabetes when the beta-cells are not sufficiently developed during the early stages of life.
"In animal experiments it is known that newborn mice need vitamin A to develop their beta-cells in a normal way. Most likely, the same applies to human beings. Children must absorb a sufficient amount of vitamin A through their diet", says Albert Salehi.
Vitamin A is found mainly in offal and dairy products. In Sweden, milk is enriched with vitamin A. There appears to be no vitamin A deficiency in Sweden in people who eat a standard variety of food, but vegetarians perhaps need to be aware of the problem.
Too much vitamin A is harmful and can lead to osteoporosis. However, there is no risk of excessive intake through food - the risk lies in taking dietary supplements. Defects associated with vitamin A deficiency are, among other things, impaired night vision and reduced elasticity in the skin and mucous membranes.
In the event of a diabetes treatment based on the newly found cell surface receptor for vitamin A, Albert Salehi believes that the risk of excessive intake makes the vitamin A itself inappropriate.
"But we're trying to find substances such as small molecules or peptides that are similar to the vitamin A could activate the newly found receptor while lacking the unwanted effects" of vitamin A", he concludes.
Related Diabetes Articles:
There has been no known link between diabetes and vitamin A -- until now.
Two studies in the Jan. 24/31 issue of JAMA find that use of a sensor implanted under the skin that continuously monitors glucose levels resulted in improved levels in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin multiple times a day, compared to conventional treatment.
T2D Lifestyle, a national survey by Health Union of more than 400 individuals experiencing type 2 diabetes (T2D), reveals that patients not only struggle with commonly understood complications, but also numerous lesser known ones that people do not associate with diabetes.
Social and economic factors have led to a dramatic rise in type 2 diabetes and obesity around the world.
An international team of researchers has discovered a simple, accurate new way to predict which women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes after delivery.
Older Americans with diabetes born in the 1940s are living longer and with less disability performing day to day tasks than those born 10 years earlier, according to new research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.
A new study from Newcastle University, UK, has shown that people who reverse their diabetes and then keep their weight down remain free of diabetes.
Although insulin-producing cells are found in the endocrine tissue of the pancreas, a new mouse study suggests that abnormalities in the exocrine tissue could cause cell non-autonomous effects that promotes diabetes-like symptoms.
A new study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal suggests that reducing sugar content in sugar sweetened drinks (including fruit juices) in the UK by 40 percent over five years, without replacing them with any artificial sweeteners, could prevent 500,000 cases of overweight and 1 million cases of obesity, in turn preventing around 300,000 cases of type 2 diabetes, over two decades.
Women with gestational diabetes who consistently and continuously breastfeed from the time of giving birth are half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes within two years after delivery, according to a study from Kaiser Permanente published today in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Related Diabetes Reading:
Bright Spots & Landmines: The Diabetes Guide I Wish Someone Had Handed Me
by Adam Brown (Author), Kelly L. Close (Foreword)
Adam Brown’s acclaimed diaTribe column, Adam’s Corner, has brought life-transforming diabetes tips to over 1 million people since 2013. In this highly actionable guide, he shares the food, mindset, exercise, and sleep strategies that have had the biggest positive impact on his diabetes – and hopefully yours too! Bright Spots & Landmines is filled with hundreds of effective diabetes tips, questions, and shortcuts, including what to eat to minimize blood sugar swings; helpful strategies to feel less stressed, guilty, and burned out; and simple ways to improve exercise and... View Details
The End of Diabetes: The Eat to Live Plan to Prevent and Reverse Diabetes
by Joel Fuhrman M.D. (Author)
The New York Times bestselling author of Eat to Live and Super Immunity and one of the country’s leading experts on preventive medicine offers a scientifically proven, practical program to prevent and reverse diabetes—without drugs.
At last, a breakthrough program to combat the rising diabetes epidemic and help millions of diabetics, as well as those suffering with high blood pressure and heart disease. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. Research director of the Nutritional Research Foundation, shows you how to live a long, healthy, and happy life—disease free. He... View Details
The Diabetes Code: Prevent and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Naturally
by Jason Fung (Author), Nina Teicholz (Foreword)
From acclaimed author Dr. Jason Fung, a revolutionary guide to reversing diabetes.... View Details
Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes Without Drugs
by Neal Barnard (Author)
Tackle diabetes and its complications for good with this newly updated edition of Dr. Neal Barnard's groundbreaking program.
Revised and updated, this latest edition of Dr. Barnard’s groundbreaking book features a new preface, updates to diagnostic and monitoring standards, recent research studies, and fresh success stories of people who have eliminated their diabetes by following this life-changing plan.
Before Dr. Barnard’s scientific breakthrough, most health professionals believed that once you developed diabetes, you were stuck with it—and could... View Details
Choose Your Foods: Food Lists for Diabetes
by American Diabetes Association (Author)
The standard for diabetes meal planning for over 60 years, this edition features updated carbohydrate, protein, and fat information for a wide variety of foods and beverages and replaces exchange terminology with choices. Includes tips on exercise, reading food labels, and a glossary of diabetes related terms. View Details
Diabetes For Dummies
by Alan L. Rubin (Author)
The straight facts on treating diabetes successfully
With diabetes now considered pandemic throughout the world, there have been enormous advances in the field. Now significantly revised and updated, this new edition of Diabetes For Dummies includes the latest information on diabetes medications and monitoring equipment, new findings about treating diabetes in the young and elderly, new ways to diagnose and treat long- and short-term complications, updated nutritional guidelines, new tools for measuring blood sugar and delivering insulin to the body, and much more.
There's... View Details
The 5-Ingredient or Less Type 2 Diabetes Instant Pot Cookbook: The Most Effective, Easy and Time-Saving Approach to Help Your Diabetes Living With 150 Flavorful Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Recipes
by Loretta Larsen (Author)
Have you diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes?
Do you have an Instant Pot or want to have one to make food simply?
Do you want to have foods that do good to Type 2 Diabetes but delicious and easy to make?
If “yes” for any questions above, then this book is right for you?
Life with diabetes can be very tough, and when you get the news that you are pre-diabetic, or have developed Type 2 diabetes, your whole world is turned upside down. All of a sudden you need to make big lifestyle changes, adjust and adapt, and even the... View Details
Diabetic Living Diabetes Meals by the Plate: 90 Low-Carb Meals to Mix & Match
by Diabetic Living Editors (Author)
An easy, graphic guide to planning delicious, diabetes-friendly meals This innovative, graphic cookbook offers the easiest and most flavorful way to build complete meals that are diabetes-friendly and delicious. Sidestepping complex programs that turn meal-planning into work, the 90 complete meals in Diabetes Meals by the Plate follow the Plate Method—a simple approach to eating the right foods in proper amounts by filling your plate with one half nonstarchy vegetables, one quarter protein, and one quarter starch. A clever photo style showing every meal in its three... View Details
The Official Pocket Guide to Diabetic Food Choices
by American Diabetes Association ADA (Author)
Completely updated to match the newest edition of Choose Your Foods: Food Lists for Diabetes Meal Planning, this pocket-sized guide is now better and more complete than ever.
Every day and at every meal, millions of people use the food list system to plan meals, make healthier choices, and better estimate portions. This proven system is the most popular approach to diabetes meal planning and has been used by dietitians, diabetes educators, and millions of people with diabetes for more than 70 years. This portable version of the Food Lists takes all of the information from... View Details
What Do I Eat Now?: A Step-by-Step Guide to Eating Right with Type 2 Diabetes
by Patti B. Geil R.D. (Author), Tami A. Ross R.D. (Author)
Any person diagnosed with diabetes has one simple question: What do I eat now? When diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, doctors typically tell their patients to start eating healthy. But what does that mean? If figuring out what to eat seems like taking a test, here’s the solution, the American Diabetes Association book, What Do I Eat Now?. Written in clear, concise, and down-to-earth language that takes the mystery out of confusing nutrition recommendations, this indispensable guide can help readers make lasting changes in as little as a month. In only 4 weeks, readers can eat... View Details