Diabetes MellitusVitamin D

Effects of low vitamin D levels on fatty infiltration in muscle

Vitamin D insufficiency has now reached epidemic proportions and so has the research on its wide ranging effects.

Here’s the latest from researchers in Los Angeles and Montréal.

First, the details.

  • In 90 women 16 to 22 years, body fat distribution and blood levels of vitamin D (25OHD) were measured.
  • All were from California and have lots of opportunity for sun exposure.

And, the results.

  • Approximately 59% of the women were vitamin D insufficient (29 ng/mL or less).
    • Of these women 24% were deficient (20 ng/mL or less).
  • Lower vitamin D levels were significantly associated with a higher percent of muscle fat.
  • In contrast, there was no relationship between vitamin D blood levels and thigh muscle area.
  • The amount of abdominal fat did not affect the relationship between vitamin D and muscle fat.
  • Percent muscle fat was significantly lower in women with normal serum vitamin D blood levels than in women with insufficient and deficient levels.

The bottom line?

the authors concluded that vitamin D insufficiency is associated with increased fat infiltration in muscle in healthy young women.

These finding are important because skeletal muscle is crucial for about 80% of blood sugar disposal in the human body. Emerging evidence suggests that fat accumulation in skeletal muscle may be a major cause of insulin resistance and diabetes.

3/15/10 20:35 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.