Link between low Vitamin D, iron & obesity

Is there a link between low D, low iron (even in red meat eaters) & obesity?

Yes, there appears to be links between vitamin D and obesity as well as vitamin D and iron status. These are active areas of research, but current evidence suggests the following:


People who are obese tend to have poor vitamin D status. People who have higher 25(OH)D levels are at lower risk of obesity, based on population research. Recently, Harvard researchers and colleagues set out to answer whether this is a causal relationship using a series of sophisticated genetic analyses. Results suggest that obesity is likely the cause of low 25(OH)D. By contrast, low 25(OH)D has little or no impact on the development of obesity. More research is needed to confirm this finding; however, this suggests that losing excess weight would be expected to improve vitamin D status, but improving vitamin D status has little, if any, effect on weight loss.

Poor vitamin D status may inhibit iron absorption. In one pilot study involving healthy volunteers, supplementation with a very large single oral dose of vitamin D (100,000 IU) increased 25(OH)D levels from 27 ng/mL to 44 ng/mL. This improvement in vitamin D status was associated with suppressing the blood level of hepcidin, a liver protein that inhibits absorption of iron in the body. This finding suggests that correcting poor vitamin D status may also help improve iron absorption from foods, including red meat.

References:

[1]. Martins D, Wolf M, Pan D, et al. Prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and the serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the United States: data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(11):1159-1165. PMID: 17563024.

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[1]. Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Giovannucci E, Willett WC, et al. Estimation of optimal serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D for multiple health outcomes. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;84(1):18-28. PMID: 16825677.

[1]. Vieth R, Bischoff-Ferrari H, Boucher BJ, Dawson-Hughes B, Garland CF, Heaney RP, et al. The urgent need to recommend an intake of vitamin D that is effective. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85(3):649-650. PMID: 17344484

[1]. Heaney RP. The vitamin D requirement in health and disease. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2005;97(1-2):13-19. PMID: 16026981.

[1]. Heaney RP, Davies KM, Chen TC, et al. Human serum 25-hydroxycholecalciferol response to extended oral dosing with cholecalciferol. Am J Clin Nutr 2003;77:204-210. PMID: 12499343.

[1]. Autier P, Gandini S. Vitamin D supplementation and total mortality: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(16):1730-1737. PMID: 17846391.

[1]. Ginde AA, Scragg R, Schwartz RS, Camargo CA Jr. Prospective study of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level, cardiovascular disease mortality, and all-cause mortality in older U.S. adults. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2009;57(9):1595-1603. PMID: 19549021.

[1]. Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Dawson-Hughes B, Staehelin HB, et al. Fall prevention with supplemental and active forms of vitamin D: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ. 2009 Oct 1;339:b3692. PMID: 19797342.

[1]. Heaney RP. Vitamin D: criteria for safety and efficacy. Nutr Rev. 2008 Oct;66(10 Suppl 2):S178-S181. PMID: 18844846.

[1]. Martins D, Wolf M, Pan D, et al. Prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and the serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the United States: data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(11):1159-1165. PMID: 17563024.

[1]. Vimaleswaran KS, Berry DJ, Lu C, et al. Causal relationship between obesity and vitamin D status: bi-directional Mendelian randomization analysis of multiple cohorts. PLoS Med. 2013;10(2):e1001383. PMID: 23393431.

[1]. Bacchetta J, Zaritsky JJ, Sea JL, et al. Suppression of iron-regulatory hepcidin by vitamin D. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2013 Nov 7. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 24204002.

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