Maternal vitamin D serum levels during pregnancy may be an early contributing factor to the genetic programing of type 1 diabetes in children, according to a study published in PLoS ONE

Researchers examined the association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) concentration and 2 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 474 identified mothers of children with type 1 diabetes and compared the results with those of 348 mothers of children without diabetes. 

Study results showed a stronger association between serum 25OHD concentration and 2 SNPs (one in vitamin D receptor gene [rs4516035] and one in the group-specific component gene [rs12512631]) during pregnancy in mothers of children in whom type 1 diabetes ultimately developed than in mothers of children who did not have type 1 diabetes (Pinteraction = .03, .02, respectively). 

Researchers conclude “there are differences in the strength of genetic determinants of serum 25OHD concentration during pregnancy between the mothers of [children with] type 1 diabet[es] and children [without diabetes].” They suggest that maternal vitamin D metabolism in utero should be investigated in future research as a possible factor that could lead to the development of childhood type 1 diabetes. 

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Reference

Miettinen ME, Smart MC, Kinnunen L, et al. Genetic determinants of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration during pregnancy and type 1 diabetes in the child [published online October 4, 2017]. PLoS ONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184942