Vitamin D status and metabolic syndrome in the elderly: the Rotterdam Study
The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between vitamin D status and the metabolic syndrome (group of risk factors that can lead to cardiovascular diseases) in the elderly. Data from 3240 people (median age 71.2 years) were analyzed. The researchers concluded that higher vitamin D concentrations in the elderly are associated with lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome and with appropriate levels of cholesterol and glucose. Further details can be found in the study.
Lipid disorders are characterized by imbalanced levels of fatty substances (i.e. cholesterol and triglycerides) in the bloodstream. These lipids are carried in the blood stream in form of microscopic round particles, called lipoproteins. Thus, these conditions are also called lipoprotein disorders. There are, generally speaking, two types of cholesterol-transporting lipoproteins: a) the “bad cholesterol” are those lipoproteins that carry cholesterol and other fatty substances to the sites of tissue repair, e.g. in the artery walls; the most common representatives of this group are Low-density-lipoproteins (LDL) and, a newer one, Lipoprotein(a), Lp(a). b) the “good cholesterol” are those lipoproteins that carry cholesterol and other fatty substances away from the sites of tissue repair and transport it back to the liver where it is biologically “burnt” One of the most frequent causes why “bad cholesterol” particles are elevated in the blood stream is micronutrient deficiency. This can be easily explained: A deficiency of vitamins causes structural damage to the artery walls and other organs and the body (liver) reacts with an increased production of “repair factors” like LDL and Lp(a). Because the elevation of these risk factors in the blood is already a reaction damage of our body tissue caused by vitamin deficiency, they are considered “secondary” risk factors.
Vitezova A, Zillikens MC, van Herpt TT, Sijbrands EJ, Hofman A, Uitterlinden AG, Franco OH, Kiefte-de Jong JC. Vitamin D status and metabolic syndrome in the elderly: the Rotterdam Study. Eur J Endocrinol. 2015 Mar;172(3):327-35.