Low Vitamin D Linked To Increased Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Title: Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Adipose Tissue Vitamin D Receptor Gene Expression: Relationship With Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
Author: Clemente-Postigo et al.
Journal: The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
Objective: To analyze serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and vitamin D receptor gene expression in adipose tissue according to body mass index and glycemic status and the effect of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 on adipose tissue according to body mass index.
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Vitamin D is one of the more well studied vitamins in modern society, and for good reason. The body’s production of vitamin D is complicated, but directly linked to sunlight exposure. Because of this, the further you are from the equator, the more likely you are to have a deficiency in vitamin D. And for this reason, it is a highly supplemented vitamin.
Health Benefits of Vitamin D: https://youtu.be/ulb_yvGNrDo
There are many health benefits of vitamin D. I would encourage you to check out my video on the subject. A few of the big ones includes reduced risk of:
- Multiple Sclerosis:
- Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s Disease:
- Parkinson’s Disease:
- Overall mortality:
- Cancer: (breast, colon, prostate, pancreatic, ovarian)
- Heart disease
One thing worth adding is that vitamin D is likely only helpful in people who have a deficiency. In other words, it’s not as clear that supplementing it provides health benefits if you have normal levels in your body already.
The link between vitamin D, diabetes and obesity is not as clear. Some studies have linked deficiency with either obesity or diabetes, but some studies have found no relationship at all. Even fewer studies have looked at whether or not low vitamin D increases your risk of diabetes after controlling for being overweight or obese.
The authors specifically looked at 25-hydroxyvitamin D which is the pre-hormone form and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 which is the the hormonally active form of vitamin D. For simplicity, I will simply refer to them both as vitamin D moving forward.
This study included two cohorts
- 118 subjects classified according to their BMI (lean, overweight, obese, or morbidly obese) and their glycemic status (normoglycemic, prediabetic or diabetic)
- 30 obese subjects (BMI > 30) classified as normoglycemic, prediabetic or diabetic
Vitamin D receptor gene expression was analyzed during preadipocyte differentiation and in vitro stimulation with vitamin D of adipose tissue explants from donors with different BMI values.
Outcomes of interest: serum vitamin D, parathyroid hormone, and adipose tissue vitamin D receptor gene expression.
Vitamin D levels were lower in prediabetic and diabetic than normoglycemic subjects.
Vitamin D levels were negatively correlated with insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and glucose, but not with body mass index. In other words, low vitamin D was associated with more insulin resistance and blood sugar levels which are both pre-diabetic states.
Vitamin D receptor gene expression was higher in morbidly obese subjects than in the other BMI groups.
Vitamin D increased vitamin D receptor gene expression in adipose tissue from obese patients but not from lean subjects.
Compared to subjects with normal blood sugar, pre-diabetics and diabetics had lower levels of vitamin D even when controlling for their body mass index (degree of obesity). In other words, low vitamin D is associated with increased risk of diabetes regardless of weight.
The study also found that morbidly obese subjects metabolize vitamin D differently in their adipose tissue when compared to lean subjects.
The study also suggests that vitamin D is closely related to glucose metabolism, suggesting vitamin D deficiency is more directly linked to carbohydrate metabolism than with obesity.
Munoz-Garach, A., Clemente-Postigo, M., & Fernandez-Garcia, D. (2015). Relationship between serum 25-hydroxivitamin D3 and adipose tissue vitamin D receptor gene expression with obesity and type 2 diabetes. Endocrine Abstracts. doi:10.1530/endoabs.37.gp.11.06