Life Extension Update
Higher plasma vitamin D levels associated with lower biomarkers of cardiometabolic disease
Tuesday, June 18, 2013. The June, 2013 issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal Preventing Chronic Disease reports the finding of a reduction in risk factors for cardiometabolic disease among men and women with higher plasma vitamin D levels. Cardiometabolic disease, also known as metabolic syndrome, is characterized by dyslipidemia, dysglycemia, abdominal obesity and hypertension, which greatly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Canadian researchers evaluated data from 1,928 men and women between the ages of 6 to 79 years who participated in the Canadian Health Measures Survey. Blood samples obtained during physical examinations were analyzed for glucose, fasting insulin, C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, homocysteine, triglycerides, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), apolipoprotein A1, apolipoprotein B and 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D].
Vitamin D levels varied according to the month during which plasma levels were sampled. Subjects who had higher levels of vitamin D had reductions in insulin, insulin resistance, triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and ratio of total to HDL cholesterol. When men and women were separately analyzed, higher plasma vitamin D levels were significantly associated with reduced triglycerides only in men, although a similar, nonsignificant trend was observed in women. And although men had a nonsignificant trend toward lower total and LDL cholesterol in association with elevated plasma vitamin D, the association reached significance only in women. "Although the mechanistic link between 25(OH)D and lipid metabolism remains poorly understood, vitamin D has been proposed to modulate the transcription activity of an array of genes known to be involved in lipid metabolism," Alaa Badawi, PhD and colleagues write. "In addition, previous research suggests that vitamin D may upregulate lipoprotein lipase activity in adipocytes, which would, in turn, result in decreased circulating triglyceride levels."
"Our results contribute to an increasing body of evidence suggesting that vitamin D modulates processes associated with risk of cardiometabolic disease at the population level," they conclude. "These findings may have public health implications for recommending vitamin D to prevent cardiometabolic disease and related conditions."
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