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In nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice, which are genetically predisposed to develop insulitis and type 1 diabetes, disease developed earlier when the mice were fed vitamin D–deficient diet and reared in the absence of UV light (Giulietti et al., 2004). However, type 1 diabetes was not prevented when NOD mice were treated with a supraphysiological dose of vitamin D, beginning from conception and continuing to 10 weeks of age (Hawa et al., 2004). Additionally, in a study in which NOD mice were cross bred with mice null for the Vdr gene, the rate of disease presentation did not differ from that in mice carrying only the NOD mutation, even though immune abnormalities were aggravated by the absence of the VDR (Gysemans, 2008). These results indicate that severe vitamin D and UV deficiency can increase the risk of type I diabetes in a genetically predisposed animal, yet neither vitamin D nor the absence of the Vdr gene affects the onset of type 1 diabetes.

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses Neither AHRQ-Ottawa nor AHRQ-Tufts included type 1 diabetes as a health outcome in its systematic reviews. Another recent systematic review and meta-analysis of five observational, four case–control and one cohort study (no RCTs were found) assessed whether vitamin D supplementation of infants reduced risk for type 1 diabetes later in life (Zipitis and Akobeng, 2008). The meta-analysis of data from the four case–control studies revealed a significant 29 percent reduction in risk for type 1 diabetes among vitamin D–supplemented infants compared with controls, which was further supported by the cohort study. The authors also cited evidence for a dose–response effect based on studies indicating reduced likelihood for developing diabetes among subjects who received regular vitamin D supplements, whereas subjects who developed rickets early in life were more likely to develop diabetes. A limitation of this meta-analysis is that two of the studies included had study designs that relied on delayed retrospective recalls by the mothers of vitamin D–supplemented infants. Additionally, no other meta-analyses were identified that either support or refute the findings of Zipitis and Akobeng (2008).

Additional evidence from randomized controlled trials No RCTs were identified for this indicator.

Observational studies No additional observational evidence that was not included in the systematic reviews and meta-analysis was identified for consideration.


Inflammatory bowel and Crohn’s disease IBD is a group of conditions of chronic inflammation that usually involve the distal portion of the ileum. In Crohn’s disease, inflammation spreads to the colon and upper gastrointestinal tract and causes local abscesses, scarring, and bowel obstruction; the condition is also characterized by diarrhea, cramping, and loss of ap-



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