‘Sunshine vitamin’ looks a little brighter

first_imgAdequate levels of vitamin D during young adulthood may reduce the risk of adult-onset type 1 diabetes by as much as 50 percent, according to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). If confirmed in future studies, the findings could lead to a role for vitamin D supplementation in preventing this serious autoimmune disease in adults.“It is surprising that a serious disease such as type 1 diabetes could perhaps be prevented by a simple and safe intervention,” said lead author Kassandra Munger, a research associate in the department of nutrition at HSPH.The study, the strongest evidence to date suggesting that vitamin D could protect against type 1 diabetes, was published online on Feb. 3 and will appear in the March 1 print edition of the American Journal of Epidemiology.In type 1 diabetes (once called juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent diabetes), the body’s immune system attacks and permanently disables insulin-making cells in the pancreas. About 5 percent of the estimated 25.8 million people in the United States with diabetes have type 1, according to the American Diabetes Association. Although it often starts in childhood, about 60 percent of type 1 diabetes cases occur after age 20.While previous studies have suggested that vitamin D might play a role in type 1 diabetes, they principally focused on the link between a shortage of the vitamin during pregnancy or childhood and the risk of developing the disease during childhood. Other research, in young adults, found an association between high levels of vitamin D and a lowered risk of multiple sclerosis (an autoimmune disease genetically and epidemiologically related to type 1 diabetes), suggesting that inadequate vitamin D in adulthood may be an important risk factor for autoimmune diseases in general.The researchers conducted a prospective case-control study of U.S. military personnel on active duty, using blood samples from the Department of Defense Serum Repository, which stores more than 40 million samples collected from 8 million servicemen and -women since the mid-1980s. Identifying 310 individuals diagnosed with type 1 diabetes between 1997 and 2009, the team compared blood samples taken before onset of the disease with samples of 613 people in a control group.They found that white, non-Hispanic, healthy young adults with higher serum levels (more than 75 nanomoles per liter) of vitamin D had about half the risk of developing type 1 diabetes of those with the lowest levels of vitamin D (less than 75 nmol/L). Although the researchers found no significant association among Hispanics and blacks, the authors said this may be due to the small number of individuals in these groups.“The risk of type 1 diabetes appears to be increased even at vitamin D levels that are commonly regarded as normal, suggesting that a substantial proportion of the population could benefit from increased vitamin D intake,” said Alberto Ascherio, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at HSPH, the study’s senior author.An estimated 1 billion people worldwide have inadequate levels of vitamin D in their blood, and deficiencies can be found in all ethnicities and age groups. While sun exposure is an excellent source of vitamin D, sunscreen, clothing, skin pigmentation, and lower levels of ultraviolet radiation during winter months interfere with its production. Food tends to be a poor source of vitamin D, with “good” sources, such as salmon and fortified milk, containing 400 international units (IU) or less per serving; in the United States, the recommended daily allowance is 600-800 IU per day, according to the Mayo Clinic.“Whereas it is premature to recommend universal use of vitamin D supplements for prevention of type 1 diabetes, the possibility that many cases could be prevented by supplementation with 1,000-4,000 IU/day, which is largely considered safe, is enticing,” the authors said.The study was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.last_img read more

Syracuse led by 16 3-pointers in 96-51 win over Maryland Eastern Shore

first_imgIn the fourth quarter, the game already out of reach for Maryland Eastern Shore, Syracuse kept shooting. The Orange sprinted up and down the court, found its comfort zone — outside the orange painted arc — and hurled 3-pointers.With 6:28 remaining in the game, Miranda Drummond poked the ball away from Ciani Byrom, ran down the court and settled near the wing opposite from SU’s bench. Drummond caught a pass from Chelayne Bailey and jumped, launching one of the Orange’s 41 attempts from deep toward the rim. Twine snapped and Drummond shook her head, grinning slightly.Before SU head coach Quentin Hillsman walked to the sidelines for tip-off, he said his team needed to start fast. Sixteen 3-pointers later, 10 of which came in the first half, No. 15 Syracuse (8-2) cruised toward its second-straight blowout win. The barrage from behind the arc overwhelmed Maryland Eastern Shore (2-6), resulting in a final score of 96-51. For the first time this season, SU has notched double-digit 3s in consecutive games. The Orange’s 16 makes from deep is the most 3s its hit in a game since it totaled 20 against North Carolina last February. All 15 of Drummond’s points came from deep and forward Digna Strautmane added five 3s herself.“(3-point shooting) is a big part of our game and if we can do it so well that’s just great,” Strautmane, who finished with a team-leading 17 points, said. “Everybody knows not every game is like that but we have to improve to be consistent with it.”Through 10 games, Syracuse’s success has been linked to its 3-pointers. In its only two losses — a 75-73 nailbiter against then-No. 3 Oregon on Nov. 10 and a 72-68 contest against then-No. 20 Minnesota on Nov. 29 — SU went a combined 10 for 50 from behind the arc. Hillsman’s message never changed: Keep shooting. On Wednesday night, the Orange didn’t stop shooting resulting in its deep ball production (48) nearly matching the Hawks’ total output (51).AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWith no Hawks starter standing taller than 6-foot, Syracuse started the game by taking advantage of its height disparity. But when the defense helped inside, SU’s bigs flung the ball to its shooters stationed on the corners and wings, commencing the aerial assault.Strautmane nailed a 3 from the wing during an early half-court set. A few possessions later, she settled behind the line and swished a deep ball. Strautmane ran to the opposite wing on the next trip down the floor and converted another opportunity. In her last two games, the sophomore has averaged 18 points and has showed the decisiveness SU coaches yearned for at the start of the season.“I feel like they were leaving me open,” Strautmane said. “That’s how our game is, if somebody’s open, we’re gonna shoot it. I just took the shots and it went in.”Around Strautmane, others were knocking down 3s, as well. In Syracuse’s emphatic 31-7 second quarter, four different shooters tallied deep balls in a variety of ways. Drummond leaked out to the corner across from the Hawks’ bench. Gabrielle Cooper rushed to an open corner. Kiara Lewis found space on the wing.An early 24-21 Maryland Eastern Shore lead was wiped out. At one point, an SU fan sitting courtside turned and said, “We’re up by nine now?”In the third quarter, the Orange persisted. With the margin comfortably in Syracuse’s favor, Hillsman called plays from the bench that resulted in more 3-pointers. An in-bounds play targeted Lewis on the wing. Drummond trailed behind her defender for a shot following a double screen. A play called “horns” ended with Strautmane rotating to the top of the arc and banking a shot off the glass and in. The over-passing that Hillsman said plagued SU in recent games was a non-factor.“They weren’t selfish,” Hillsman said. “They took good shots. They were open. They didn’t pass up good shots. That’s what it’s about.”During halftime, the Syracuse band performed “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen while the Orange warmed up. On the other end of the court, the Hawks could only watch as Syracuse was in the midst of its best shooting performance to date. Published on December 5, 2018 at 10:22 pm Contact Nick: [email protected] | @nick_a_alvarez Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more