ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2018) 56 P290 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.56.P290

Vitamin D and obesity

Lambros Athanassiou1, Ifigenia Kostoglou-Athanassiou2, Asimoula Koteli3, Clio Mavragani1, Panagiotis Athanassiou4 & Michael Koutsilieris1


1Department of Physiology, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece; 2Department of Endocrinology, Asclepeion Hospital, Voula, Athens, Greece; 3Department of Biopathology, St. Paul’s Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece; 4Department of Rheumatology, St. Paul’s Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece.


Introduction: Vitamin D has been found to be associated with multiple chronic diseases, including diabetes mellitus type 1 and 2, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune diseases. Low vitamin D levels have also been observed in patients with obesity.

Aim: The aim was to study vitamin D levels in patients with morbid obesity.

Methods: In a group of 32 patients with morbid obesity, BMI 41.77±1.15 (mean ± SEM), range 27.76–51.99, weight 112.05±3.18 kg, range 85–150 kg, 25(OH)D3 levels were measured. Observations were also performed in a group of 32 patients with BMI and weight in the normal range, within the same age group, of the same sex, serving as controls.

Results: In the group of obese patients 25(OH)D3 levels were 10.77±0.51 ng/ml as opposed to 24.51±1.35 ng/ml in the control group, (P<0.001, Student’s t test). A negative correlation was observed between 25(OH)D3 levels and BMI, standardized beta coefficient −0.87, P=0.001. A negative correlation was also observed between 25(OH)D3 levels and weight, standardized beta coefficient −0.345, P<0.001.

Conclusions: Very low vitamin D levels were observed in a group of morbidly obese patients. A negative correlation was observed between 25(OH)D3 levels, BMI and weight, meaning that low vitamin D levels were correlated with high BMI and weight. Vitamin D has been found to be a negative index of the acute inflammatory response (Quraishi et al, Curr Opin Clin Nutr 2012). We propose that vitamin D is a negative indicator of the inflammatory environment which characterizes morbid obesity.

Reference: Quraishi SA, Camargo CA Jr. Vitamin D in acute stress and critical illness. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 2012;15:625–34.

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