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Minerva Endocrinologica 2020 Nov 19

DOI: 10.23736/S0391-1977.20.03299-X

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Vitamin D in obesity and obesity-related diseases: an overview

Luigi BARREA 1, 2 , Evelyn FRIAS-TORAL 3, 4, Gabriella PUGLIESE 1, 2, Eloisa GARCIA-VELASQUEZ 5, Maria DE LOS ANGELES CARIGNANO 6, Silvia SAVASTANO 1, 2, Annamaria COLAO 1, 2, 7, Giovanna MUSCOGIURI 1, 2

1 Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Chirurgia, Unit of Endocrinology, Collaborating Centres for Obesity Management (COM) of The European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO); Federico II University, Medical School of Naples, Naples, Italy; 2 Centro Italiano per la cura e il Benessere del paziente con Obesità (C.I.B.O), Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Endocrinology Unit, University Medical School of Naples, Naples, Italy; 3 Research Committee, SOLCA Guayaquil, Guayaquil, Ecuador; 4 Clinical Research Associate Professor for Palliative Care Residency from Universidad Católica Santiago de Guayaquil, Guayaquil, Ecuador; 5 Clinical Nutrition Service, San Francisco Clinic Hospital, Guayaquil, Ecuador; 6 Nutritional Support Section, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina; 7 Cattedra Unesco “Educazione alla salute e allo sviluppo sostenibile”, University Federico II, Naples, Italy


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Hypovitaminosis D and obesity represent two pandemic conditions sometimes associated with each other. Although it is known that there is a close relationship between these two health problems, the underlying pathophysiological mechanism has not yet been fully clarified. In fact, on the one hand, obesity per se seems to involve low circulating levels of vitamin D due to low sun exposure, physical activity, and intake of foods rich in vitamin D, volumetric dilution and sequestration in the adipose tissue. Conversely, since pre-adipocytes and adipocytes express the receptors and are involved in the metabolism of vitamin D it would seem that low levels of this vitamin may be involved in adipogenesis and therefore in the development of obesity. This connection is extremely important when considering obesity-related diseases. In fact, low vitamin D levels and severe obesity are significantly associated with some cardio-metabolic risk factors, including high body mass index, waist circumference, blood pressure, impaired lipid and glycemic profile, and insulin resistance, as they would seem associated with worse cardiovascular outcomes and higher cancer incidence and mortality. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to examine the recent evidence linking low vitamin D status, obesity and obesity-related diseases, highlighting the scientific achievements and the gaps to be filled with further investigations.


KEY WORDS: Obesity; Vitamin D; Cardiovascular diseases; Obesity-related diseases; Nutritionist

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