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Ann Nutr Metab. 2012;61(4):337-48. doi: 10.1159/000342771. Epub 2012 Dec 3.

Vitamin D deficiency: a new risk factor for type 2 diabetes?.

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  • 1Endocrinologia, Universit√† Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Roma, Italia. teresa.mezza@gmail.com

Abstract

Recent compelling evidence suggests a role of vitamin D deficiency in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and insulin secretion derangements, with a consequent possible interference with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The mechanism of this link is incompletely understood. In fact, vitamin D deficiency is usually detected in obesity in which insulin resistance is also a common finding. The coexistence of insulin resistance and vitamin D deficiency has generated several hypotheses. Some cross-sectional and prospective studies have suggested that vitamin D deficiency may play a role in worsening insulin resistance; others have identified obesity as a risk factor predisposing individuals to exhibit both vitamin D deficiency and insulin resistance. The available data from intervention studies are largely confounded, and inadequate considerations of seasonal effects on 25(OH)D concentrations are also a common design flaw in many studies. On the contrary, there is strong evidence that obesity might cause both vitamin D deficiency and insulin resistance, leaving open the possibility that vitamin D and diabetes are not related at all. Although it might seem premature to draw firm conclusions on the role of vitamin D supplementation in reducing insulin resistance and preventing type 2 diabetes, this manuscript will review the circumstances leading to vitamin D deficiency and how such a deficiency can eventually independently affect insulin sensitivity.

Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

PMID:
23208163
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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