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Study Shows That Vitamin A Deficiency, Type 2 Diabetes, Might Be Closely Linked

January 15, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A Cornell Medical College study shows that a lack of vitamin A -- found in meat, fish, poultry, dairy foods, fruits and vegetables – may be a key factor in the development of type 2 diabetes. Vitamin A helps give rise to beta cells in the pancreas that produce the blood sugar-regulating hormone insulin. In a mouse study, the researchers found that a vitamin A deficiency spurred the death of beta cells, inhibiting insulin production. Insulin metabolizes sugars that come from food. The researchers suggest the possibility that a synthetic form of vitamin A might reverse the effects of type 2 diabetes. They hope to test the idea in preclinical and clinical studies.
Steven Trasino et al., "Vitamin A Deficiency Causes Hyperglycemia and Loss of Pancreatic β-Cell Mass ", The Journal of Biological Chemistry, January 15, 2015, © American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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