Vitamin D and metabolic syndrome risk factors: Evidence and mechanisms

Atif B. Awad, Lini Alappat, Michael Valerio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The metabolic syndrome develops in an individual with any three of the following risk factors: obesity, diabetes, inflammation, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and thrombosis. Recent evidence suggests that vitamin D may play a role in the development of some of these risk factors. The metabolic syndrome is more common in western societies than the underdeveloped countries. Individuals in western societies usually consume a high calorie diet that lacks essential nutrients and, by virtue of being located in the northern hemisphere, they have limited sun exposures which restrict their vitamin D synthesis. Moreover, the lifestyle of these societies is considered sedentary. These dietary and environmental factors coupled with the sedentary lifestyle predispose them to metabolic syndrome risk factors. Active research revealed the role of vitamin Din the development of obesity, diabetes, inflammation, and hypertension. On the other hand, limited research has been done on the role of vitamin Din other risk factors such as dyslipidemia and thrombosis. The scientific community proposes to increase the current vitamin D fortification level in foods to reduce the risk factors of the metabolic syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-112
Number of pages10
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2012


  • Cytokines
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Inflammation
  • Metabolism
  • Obesity


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