Immune Function of Vitamin D in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Jingbo Li¹,²*, Bing Xiao¹, Yufei Xiang¹

¹Diabetes Center, Institute of Metabolism and Endocrinology,The Second Xiangya Hospital and Key laboratory of Diabetes Immunology Central South University, Ministry of Education, Changsha, China; ²Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, USA

*Corresponding author: Jingbo Li. Diabetes Center, Institute of Metabolism and Endocrinology, The Second Xiangya Hospital and Key laboratory of Diabetes Immunology Central South University, Ministry of Education, Changsha, China. E-mail:

Published: June 22, 2014.


Vitamin D is a well-known fat-soluble vitamin which is essential in the homeostasis of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D deficiency causes skeletal disorders, including rickets, osteomalacia, and osteoporosis. However, recent studies revealing the immunomodulatory effects of vitamin D have opened up a new understanding and possibility in this field. It has been proved that vitamin D is related to a variety of autoimmune diseases. Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), being generally accepted as autoimmune mediated, is also proposed to be associated with the vitamin D status of the human body. Here, we reviewed briefly the epidemiological correlation between the vitamin D status and prevalence of T1DM, the possible mechanisms underlying this correlation, and clinical trials focusing on the therapeutic prospects of vitamin D in the treatment of T1DM.

vitamin D; type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM); immunomodulation.

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