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Adv Nutr. 2013 May 1;4(3):303-10. doi: 10.3945/an.113.003731.

A novel approach localizes the association of vitamin D status with insulin resistance to one region of the 25-hydroxyvitamin D continuum.

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Creighton University, Omaha, NE, USA.


Vitamin D status has been implicated in insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and hypertension, but the range of vitamin D status values over which the association can be found is unknown. Our objective was to define this range in a cohort of nondiabetic adult Canadians. We used a regression modeling strategy, first adjusting insulin-response variables and systolic and diastolic blood pressure for BMI, waist circumference, weight, age, and sex. The resulting residuals were regressed against serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentration using successive 40% data blocks ranging from the 0th to the 60th percentile of 25(OH)D values. All of the predictor variables were significantly associated with each of the dependent variables, with BMI and waist circumference accounting for >98% of the explained variance. The vitamin D association was localized to the serum 25(OH)D range extending from ∼40 to ∼90 nmol/L (16-36 μg/L). We conclude that vitamin D status is inversely associated with insulin responsiveness and blood pressure. Consistent with the threshold response characteristic typical of nutrients, the association was strongest in a circumscribed region of the range of 25(OH)D values. There was no association at 25(OH)D values >80-90 nmol/L (32-36 μg/L), indicating that the vitamin D association applied principally to values below that level. The differences observed, if they can be further confirmed in prospective studies, are of a magnitude that would be clinically important.

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