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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2012;52(2):103-12. doi: 10.1080/10408391003785458.

Vitamin d and metabolic syndrome risk factors: evidence and mechanisms.

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Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, New York, USA.


The metabolic syndrome develops in an individual with any three of the following risk factors: obesity, diabetes, inflammation, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and thrombosis. Recent evidence suggests that vitamin D may play a role in the development of some of these risk factors. The metabolic syndrome is more common in western societies than the underdeveloped countries. Individuals in western societies usually consume a high calorie diet that lacks essential nutrients and, by virtue of being located in the northern hemisphere, they have limited sun exposures which restrict their vitamin D synthesis. Moreover, the lifestyle of these societies is considered sedentary. These dietary and environmental factors coupled with the sedentary lifestyle predispose them to metabolic syndrome risk factors. Active research revealed the role of vitamin D in the development of obesity, diabetes, inflammation, and hypertension. On the other hand, limited research has been done on the role of vitamin D in other risk factors such as dyslipidemia and thrombosis. The scientific community proposes to increase the current vitamin D fortification level in foods to reduce the risk factors of the metabolic syndrome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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