Diabetes MellitusHeart DiseaseObesityVitamin D

Vitamin D and the metabolic syndrome in adults

Researchers from China and the UK studied a group of Chinese people.

Metabolic syndrome is a combination of medical disorders that increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

First, the details.

  • Blood levels of vitamin D (25[OH]D) were measured in a 3262 adults from Beijing and Shanghai.
  • Metabolic syndrome was defined according to the updated National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria for Asian Americans.
  • Fasting blood sugar levels, insulin, lipid profile, A1c, and inflammatory markers were measured.

And, the results.

  • Vitamin D insufficiency — levels below 75 nmol/L — was documented in 24% of people studied.
  • Vitamin D deficiency — levels below 50 nmol/L — was documented in 69% of the people.
  • People with the lowest average vitamin D levels (29 nmol/L) were 52% more likely to have metabolic syndrome than people with the highest average levels (58 nmol/L).
  • There was also a correlation between vitamin D levels and insulin levels and insulin resistance in overweight and obese, but not normal weight, individuals.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “Vitamin D deficiency is common in the middle-aged and elderly Chinese and low 25(OH)D level is significantly associated with increased risk of having the metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.”

Similarly, in adolescents, a correlation between low vitamin D levels and a higher risk of the metabolic syndrome has been reported.

6/5/09 20:17 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.