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Low vitamin D may be a risk factor for metabolic syndrome

Published on

05 July 2010

Insufficient levels of vitamin D may increase the risk of metabolic syndrome by about 40% in seniors, suggests a new Dutch study.

In the study, blood samples of 1,289 white Dutch men and women aged 65 and older where analyzed to assess vitamin D levels (1). The results showed that almost 50% of participants were vitamin D deficient and about 37% of the total sample had metabolic syndrome. People with blood levels of vitamin D (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D) lower than 50 nanomoles per liter were likelier to have metabolic syndrome than those whose vitamin D levels exceeded 50 nmol/L. No differences in risk were observed between men and women.

The researchers commented that because metabolic syndrome increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, an adequate vitamin D level in the body might be important in the prevention of these diseases. Vitamin D deficiency has previously been linked to impaired insulin secretion in humans, and has also been linked to insulin resistance in healthy subjects.

Metabolic syndrome is a condition characterized by obesityhypertension, and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism. The syndrome has been linked to increased risks of both type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


  1. Oosterwerff M. M. et al. Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and the Metabolic Syndrome: A Population-Based Study. Presentation at the ENDO 2010 in San Diego, USA.

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