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Nutr Metab Insights. 2016 Feb 1;8(Suppl 1):11-21. doi: 10.4137/NMI.S29526. eCollection 2015.

Vitamin D and the Promotion of Long-Term Metabolic Health from a Programming Perspective.

Author information

1
Center for Life-Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.; Biocenter Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.
2
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College, London, UK.
3
Center for Life-Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.; Biocenter Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College, London, UK.; MRC-PHE Centre for Environment & Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College, London, UK.; Unit of Primary Care, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland.

Abstract

Studies linking vitamin D and long-term metabolic health have generated much debate. Recommendations for the intake of vitamin D by the general public and by the health care professionals have been complicated by a number of inconsistencies in the literature. These caveats relate to the methodological approaches, differences in the populations (and the species) of study, and the definitions used for thresholds of vitamin D status. This review addresses current evidence available for assessing the potential programming of long-term metabolic health of offspring by maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy. It summarizes knowledge on the early origins of metabolic health and analyzes evidence for an association between the vitamin D status in pregnancy and maternal and fetal health status. In addition, we analyze the link between the regulation of inflammation and the vitamin D status in the general population to inform on the general mechanisms through which early vitamin D might affect the programming of long-term health. The evidence suggests an association between the vitamin D status in early life and the programming of long-term health. However, to the best of our knowledge, the current finding is insufficient to draw a final conclusion for evidence-based preventive actions. The data warrant replication in prospective studies and additional research substantiating the causal factors and pathways.

KEYWORDS:

fetal programming; inflammation; maternal outcomes; vitamin D

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