Vitamin D levels connected to metabolic syndrome

Many individuals with metabolic syndrome, a constellation of diseases that significantly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, are more likely to have low levels of vitamin D, according to a new study from the University of California.

Researchers examined patients who were being treated for metabolic syndrome in the northern California area. The region receives plenty of sunshine, which makes vitamin D deficiency surprising.

However, the investigation found that 30 percent of participants with metabolic syndrome had low levels of vitamin D. For comparison, only 8 percent of healthy individuals studied had a vitamin D deficiency.

Ishwarlal Jialal, who led the study, said that individuals with metabolic syndrome may have a greater need for the nutrient. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by a combination of large waistline, high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol and elevated fasting blood sugar levels. In addition to dramatically increasing the risk for diabetes, it also elevates an individual's risk for heart disease.

High vitamin D levels have been connected in previous studies to a reduction in the risk of heart disease. Jialal said that the nutrient may be connected to a range of cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors.
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