A new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism has again highlighted the crucial relevance of adequate Vitamin D level to the development of diabetes. It is estimated that approximately one billion people are affected by vitamin D deficiency on a global scale. People who are vitamin D deficient are more prone to obesity and are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
The study participants consisted of 118 people from the university hospital Virgen de la Victoria in Malaga as well as 30 participants from the Hospital Universitari Dr. Josep Trueta in Girona, Spain. The particpants were differentiated by body mass index, whether they had diabetes, prediabetes or any glycemic disorders. The levels of vitamin D in the blood and the level of vitamin D receptor expression in fat tissue was measured.
“The major strength of this study is that it compares vitamin D levels in people at a wide range of weights (from lean to morbidly obese subjects) while taking whether they had diabetes into account,” said one of the study’s authors, Mercedes Clemente-Postigo, MSc, of Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Málaga (IBIMA) at Complejo Hospitalario de Málaga (Virgen de la Victoria) and Universidad de Málaga in Malaga, Spain.
The study findings revealed that obese subjects who did not have glucose metabolism disorders had higher levels of vitamin D than diabetic subjects. Research participants who had a lean metabolism with diabetes or another glucose metabolism disorder were more likely to have low levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D levels were directly correlated with glucose levels, but not with BMI.
“Our findings indicate that vitamin D is associated more closely with glucose metabolism than obesity,” said one of the study’s authors, Manuel Macías-González, PhD, of Complejo Hospitalario de Málaga (Virgen de la Victoria) and the University of Málaga. “The study suggests that vitamin D deficiency and obesity interact synergistically to heighten the risk of diabetes and other metabolic disorders. The average person may be able to reduce their risk by maintaining a healthy diet and getting enough outdoor activity.”
Mercedes Clemente-Postigo, Araceli Muñoz-Garach, Marta Serrano, Lourdes Garrido-Sánchez, M. Rosa Bernal-López, Diego Fernández-García, Inmaculada Moreno-Santos, Nuria Garriga, Daniel Castellano-Castillo, Antonio Camargo, Jose M. Fernandez-Real, Fernando Cardona, Francisco J. Tinahones, Manuel Macías-González. Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Adipose Tissue Vitamin D Receptor Gene Expression: Relationship With Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2015; jc.2014-3016 DOI: 10.1210/jc.2014-3016