(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) ― Researchers from the UC Davis Health System have found that compared with healthy controls, blood levels of vitamin D are significantly reduced in patients in the Sacramento area with metabolic syndrome, a constellation of disease risk factors that affects about one in three U.S. adults and predisposes them to diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
The study is the first to examine vitamin-D status in patients with metabolic syndrome living in Northern California, where the many hours of sunshine make the vitamin-D deficiency finding surprising. The study, entitled "Low vitamin D levels in North American adults with the metabolic syndrome," was published online today and will appear in the January 2011 issue of the journal Hormone and Metabolic Research.
"In spite of our great sun exposure in Northern California, 30 percent of patients with metabolic syndrome have vitamin-D deficiency, and even many subjects in the control group had inadequate levels," said Ishwarlal Jialal, the study's principal investigator and professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the UC Davis Health System. "Considering our climate and healthy lifestyles here, these findings were unexpected."
The study measured serum vitamin D levels in 44 people with metabolic syndrome and compared them to 37 healthy controls matched for age and gender. They found that 30 percent of subjects with metabolic syndrome were deficient in vitamin D compared with eight percent of controls. The difference between the groups was statistically significant and could not be explained by differences in sun exposure or other factors that are known to alter vitamin-D levels, such as kidney disease and amount of body fat. Furthermore, the low levels correlated with risk of diabetes such as insulin resistance and plasma glucose levels.
Metabolic syndrome has become highly prevalent in the United States with the obesity epidemic. The syndrome is chara
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University of California - Davis Health System