Data Mining Reveals Unusual Use For Vitamin D

Vitamin D taken together with quetiapine reduces the risk of new-onset diabetes, a side effect of the latter drug.

AsianScientist (Jun. 13, 2016) – Though effective for treating disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression, atypical antipsychotics give patients a heightened risk of developing new-onset diabetes.

A data mining study published in Scientific Reports, however, has found a way to relieve this side effect—a regular dose of vitamin D.

The consequences of developing diabetes from taking antipsychotics are dire, as they occasionally cause life-threatening conditions and sometimes even death. To find a solution, members of Professor Shuji Kaneko’s lab at Kyoto University looked for potential antidotes on the US FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting (FAERS) system, which is the largest database of self-reported adverse side effects.

From there, they found that patients who had coincidentally been prescribed vitamin D with antipsychotic drug quetiapine were less likely to have hyperglycemia.

“It’s unusual for vitamin D to be prescribed with quetiapine because it is typically prescribed to treat osteoporosis; in fact, there were only 1,232 cases in the world where vitamin D was prescribed with quetiapine. Data mining proved helpful in locating these cases,” said Kaneko.

The team confirmed this finding with further tests on mice. The group of mice that was fed vitamin D along with quetiapine had significantly lower levels of blood sugar than those that took only quetiapine.

Through this study, they found that quetiapine reduces the production of a key enzyme called PI3K, while vitamin D stops quetiapine from lowering PI3K producti

“Interestingly, vitamin D on its own doesn’t lower diabetes risk, but it certainly defends against the insulin-lowering effects of quetiapine,” said lead author Dr. Takuya Nagashima.

The article can be found at: Nagashima et al. (2016) Prevention of Antipsychotic-induced Hyperglycaemia by Vitamin D: a Data Mining Prediction Followed by Experimental Exploration of the Molecular Mechanism.


Source: Kyoto University; Photo: Shutterstock.
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