Vitamin D and inflammation in the prevention of type 2 diabetes: public health relevance

Alaa Badawi, Eman Sadoun, Mohamed H. Al Thani



The incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is increasing worldwide. To reduce the disease risk and burden at the population level, preventative strategies should be developed with minimal cost and effort and with no side-effects. Low-grade inflammation resulting from imbalances in the innate immune system has been associated with an array of chronic disorders that predispose to the later development of T2DM (e.g., obesity, metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance). As a result, inflammation may contribute to the pathogenesis of T2DM. Therefore, attenuation of this inflammatory response via modulating the innate immune system could lead to improved insulin sensitivity and delayed disease onset. Dietary supplementation with vitamin D may represent a novel strategy toward the prevention and control of T2DM at the population level due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This review examines current knowledge linking T2DM to chronic low-grade inflammation and the role of vitamin D in modulating this relationship. The concept that vitamin D, via attenuating inflammation, could be employed as a novel preventive measure for T2DM is evaluated in the context of its relevance to health care and public health practices.


Inflammation; Prevention; Public health; Type 2 diabetes; Vitamin D

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