Study suggests vitamin D may influence prevention of prediabetic condition

Study suggests vitamin D may influence prevention of prediabetic condition

Findings from a new study indicate that vitamin D may play a key role in preventing metabolic syndrome (MetS).

MetS affects up to 34 percent of the U.S. population, increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). MetS is a prediabetic condition, the signals of which include obesity, hypertension, and elevated levels of glucose and lipids in the bloodstream.

The study, published in Frontiers in Physiology, tested the effects of vitamin D depletion and high-fat diets in mice, showing that mice with either depleted vitamin D or a high fat diet developed moderate NAFLD, while those with both vitamin D depletion and high-fat diets developed severe NAFLD.

“These findings indicated that lacking dietary vitamin D might exacerbate the high fat diet-exerted systemic inflammation, which consequently could cause insulin resistance and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH),” the authors said. “Taken together, our results demonstrate that high fat diet feeding initiates fatty liver and insulin resistance in mice, but additional vitamin D depleted diet worsens the impact and results overt MetS and even NASH.”

Individuals at greater risk of developing MetS include those who are older, lead sedentary lifestyles, experience disrupted sleep, suffer from mood disorders, and engage in excessive alcohol use.

“We are planning a clinical study to confirm the link of vitamin D deficiency with gut bacteria disruption, and its association with metabolic syndrome,” Yuan-Ping Han, a contributing author from Sichuan University, said.

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