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Vitamin D Deficiency Increases The Risk Of Diabetic Retinopathy

First Posted: May 31, 2016 07:50 AM EDT
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A new meta-analysis and systematic review show that vitamin D deficiency is linked with diabetic retinopathy.

Medscape reports that the analysis was presented at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists 2016 Annual Meeting. It was led by Anawin Sanguankeo, MD, a second-year resident in the department of internal medicine at Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown in New York.

Dr. Sanguankeo explained that patients with diabetes and low vitamin D levels may develop earlier of more severe diabetic retinopathy. He said that the mechanism could be twofold. Vitamin D may improve the insulin secretion in type 2 diabetes and lower the vascular endothelial growth factors, according to some studies.

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that affects the eyes, which may cause blindness. It develops when someone has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It is triggered by harm to the blood vessels of the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye or the retina.

Dr. Sanguankeo said that in animal studies when they are given vitamin D, the vascularization was reduced. On the other hand, in humans, there are few studies that evaluate how vitamin D supplementation affects diabetic retinopathy. He said that he would soon start a study that vitamin D supplementation could be suggested that could inhibit diabetic retinopathy. There is a study that was led by Dr.Malik that showed a single intramuscular dose of 600,000 IU of vitamin D is linked with a decrease in the symptoms of painful diabetic neuropathy in over than 100 patients.

Meanwhile, WebMD states the source of vitamin D can be found in some food. These include tuna, sardines, mackerel and herring. Dairy products, cereals and juices have added vitamin D too. On the other hand, the great source of vitamin D is the sunlight.

Vitamin D prevents certain diseases such as rickets, osteoporosis, bone loss, bone pain and bones that are brittle and easily broken. It can also lower the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, skin diseases, tooth and gum disease, obesity pulmonary disease, bronchitis, asthma and premenstrual syndrome.

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