Vitamin D deficiency predicts health and disease risk

Free, circulating vitamin D levels from the blood may be a better predictor of future health dangers in aging men, according to a study presented at e-ECE 2020. This data suggests the precursor form of vitamin D found circulating in the bloodstream is a more accurate predictor of future health and disease risk, than the frequently measured vitamin D. Since vitamin D deficiency is associated with multiple serious health ailments as we age, this research indicates that further research to vitamin D levels and their link to poor health might be a promising area for further research.

But, there are numerous kinds, or metabolites, of vitamin D within the human body but it is the total quantity of these metabolites that is most frequently utilized to evaluate the vitamin D status of people. The prohormone, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D is converted into 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, which is considered the active form of vitamin D in our entire body. More than 99% of vitamin D metabolites in our blood are bound to proteins, therefore only a tiny fraction is free to become biologically active. Thus the free, lively forms may be a better predictor of present and future wellbeing.

Dr Leen Antonio in University Hospitals Leuven in Belgium and a team of colleagues investigated whether the free metabolites of vitamin D have been better health predictors, utilizing data from the European Male Ageing Study, that was collected from 1,970 community-dwelling males, aged 40-79, between 2003 and 2005. The amounts of total and free metabolites of vitamin D were compared with their current health condition, adjusting for potentially confounding factors, including age, body mass index, smoking and self-reported health. The total levels of free and vitamin D metabolites were associated with a higher chance of death. But, just free 25-hydroxyvitamin D was predictive of potential health problems rather than free 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D.

Dr Antonio explains, “These data further confirm that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a negative impact on general health and can be predictive of a higher risk of death.”

It was also not possible to get specific details concerning the causes of death of the males in the analysis, which might be a confounding factor.

“Most studies focus on the association between total 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and age-related disease and mortality. As 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D is the active form of vitamin D in our body, it was possible it could have been a stronger predictor for disease and mortality. It has also been debated if the total or free vitamin D levels should be measured. Our data now suggest that both total and free 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels are the better measure of future health risk in men,” says Dr Antonio

Dr Antonio and her staff are currently finalizing the statistical analysis and writing a manuscript on those findings.


Categories: Health