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Did You Know? The Link Between Vitamin D and Metabolism?

Vitamin D and Metabolism
  • There are links between vitamin D and metabolism.
  • Vitamin D has therapeutic potential with metabolic conditions.
  • Check your Vitamin D levels to understand if you need to increase your Vitamin D intake.

What is the link between Vitamin D and Metabolism?

Vitamin D’s credentials as a sunshine vitamin are well chronicled. As a calcium-regulating hormone, vitamin D is vital for bone, muscle and dental health.

It’s also no secret there are strong links between vitamin D and a healthy immune system.

Less well known is vitamin D’s link with metabolic syndrome. 

In recent years, studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency is linked with metabolic syndrome risk and doctors increasingly believe that the sunshine vitamin has therapeutic potential in some conditions associated with metabolic illness. 

What is metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is the name given to the risk factors that increase a person’s probability of developing serious health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high LDL (bad) cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and obesity.

A growing global crisis, in recent decades metabolic syndrome has become the most common health challenge worldwide, crossing the barriers of age, sex, and ethnicity

Metabolic syndrome is typically diagnosed when an individual has three or more out of five criteria: high blood pressure; high blood sugar levels; low HDL (good) cholesterol; raised triglycerides; and increased waist circumference or ‘apple-shaped’ body.   

How can vitamin D help with metabolic syndrome? 

Individuals clinically diagnosed with metabolic syndrome tend to also present with vitamin D deficiency, with studies showing a significant link between vitamin D deficiency and certain metabolic syndrome risk factors. Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with chronic metabolic conditions including obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular diseases including hypertension.

Customary clinical management of metabolic syndrome is to reduce the five risk components with lifestyle changes and therapeutic treatment. And randomised clinical trials suggest that vitamin D supplementation (its dietary forms are vitamin D2 and D3) has a positive impact on abdominal obesity, blood pressure, and blood sugar metabolism.

How much vitamin D is enough?

If you have any of the risk criteria for metabolic syndrome talk to your doctor who will check your vitamin D levels and advise on appropriate vitamin D supplementation. 

Even without the components of metabolic syndrome, vitamin D deficiency is worryingly common worldwide. Many people may not be meeting the minimum daily requirement for vitamin D, particularly populations living in parts of the world where sunlight is limited for part of the year. It can also be difficult to consume enough vitamin D-rich foods to maintain adequate levels. And the last 24 months of rolling global lockdowns due to the Covid 19 pandemic seems likely to have worsened this issue. For this reason the UK’s NHS recommends that people consider taking a vitamin D supplement during the autumn and winter season. 

If you are concerned about your vitamin D levels why not order an at-home test from Nabta Health

Nabta is reshaping women’s healthcare. We support women with their personal health journeys, from everyday wellbeing to the uniquely female experiences of fertility, pregnancy, and menopause. You can track your menstrual cycle and get personalised support by using the Nabta app.

Get in touch if you have any questions about this article or any aspect of women’s health. We’re here for you. 

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