Vitamin D and cardiometabolic risk factors and diseases

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Abstract

Obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are the most common preventable causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Insulin resistance, which is a shared feature in these conditions, is also strongly linked to the development of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is the most common endocrine disease in women of reproductive age and a major cause of infertility. Vitamin D deficiency has reached epidemic proportions worldwide, primarily due to the shift to sedentary, indoor lifestyles and sun avoidance behaviours to protect against skin cancer. In recent years, vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in the aetiology of type 2 diabetes, PCOS and CVD, and has been shown to be associated with their risk factors including obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension, as well as chronic low-grade inflammation. Treating vitamin D deficiency may offer a feasible and cost-effective means of reducing cardiometabolic risk factors at a population level in order to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes and CVD. However, not all intervention studies show that vitamin D supplementation alleviates these risk factors. Importantly, there is significant heterogeneity in existing studies with regards to doses and drug regimens used, populations studied (i.e. vitamin D deficient or sufficient), and the lengths of supplementation, and only few studies have directly examined the effect of vitamin D on insulin secretion and resistance with the use of clamp methods. Therefore, there is a need for well-designed large scale trials to clarify the role of vitamin D supplementation in the prevention of type 2 diabetes, PCOS, and CVD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-230
Number of pages18
JournalMinerva Endocrinologica
Volume40
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015

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