Metabolic Syndrome Onset Linked To Inadequate Vitamin D Levels
A recent study suggests a vitamin D deficiency, with underlying abnormalities in gut bacteria, is necessary for the progression of metabolic syndrome in mice.
If these findings hold true in future human studies, it suggests elevating vitamin D levels through sun exposure or supplementation may alleviate or prevent the syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is not an illness, but a cluster of conditions that increase our chances for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The syndrome's cluster of conditions includes high blood pressure, elevated glucose levels, abnormal cholesterol totals, and excess weight, particularly at the waistline. Many individuals with this syndrome also have an accumulation of fat in the liver.
Though high fat or carbohydrate diets seem to be the primary cause of metabolic syndrome, earlier observational studies suggested that vitamin D deficiency also plays a causal role. This current study furthers the understanding of Vitamin D’s influence on metabolic syndrome progression.
The researchers demonstrated that ingesting a high fat diet created an imbalance of good and bad gut bacteria in mice. This imbalance slightly elevated blood sugar levels in the animals, and promoted an accumulation of fat in their livers. The gut flora imbalance was intensified by inadequate levels of vitamin D, facilitating a progression to fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome.
The research team - which includes Stephen Pandol of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and Yuan-Ping Han’s research team at Sichuan University in China - concluded metabolic syndrome is triggered by eating a high fat diet that is underscored by a vitamin D deficiency, and that vitamin D supplementation improves metabolic syndrome. They are pressing forward to validate their work in human trials.
Source: Science Daily