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Vitamin D Deficiency Inhibits Pancreatic Secretion of Insulin.

The effect of a vitamin D deficiency on insulin and glucagon release was determined in the isolated perfused rat pancreas by radioimmunoassay of the secreted proteins. During a 30-minute period of perfusion with glucose and arginine, pancreases from vitamin D-deficient rats exhibited a 48 percent reduction in insulin secretion compared to that for pancreases from vitamin D-deficient rats that had been replenished with vitamin D.

 Vitamin D status had no effect on pancreatic glucagon secretion. This result, along with the previously demonstrated presence in the pancreas of a vitamin D-dependent calcium-binding protein and cytosol receptor for the hormonal form of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, indicates an important role for vitamin D in the endocrine functioning of the pancreas.