The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Vitamin D and the metabolic syndrome in adults

    Researchers from China and the UK studied a group of Chinese people.

    Metabolic syndrome is a combination of medical disorders that increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

    First, the details.

    • Blood levels of vitamin D (25[OH]D) were measured in a 3262 adults from Beijing and Shanghai.
    • Metabolic syndrome was defined according to the updated National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria for Asian Americans.
    • Fasting blood sugar levels, insulin, lipid profile, A1c, and inflammatory markers were measured.

    And, the results.

    • Vitamin D insufficiency — levels below 75 nmol/L — was documented in 24% of people studied.
    • Vitamin D deficiency — levels below 50 nmol/L — was documented in 69% of the people.
    • People with the lowest average vitamin D levels (29 nmol/L) were 52% more likely to have metabolic syndrome than people with the highest average levels (58 nmol/L).
    • There was also a correlation between vitamin D levels and insulin levels and insulin resistance in overweight and obese, but not normal weight, individuals.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded, “Vitamin D deficiency is common in the middle-aged and elderly Chinese and low 25(OH)D level is significantly associated with increased risk of having the metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance.”

    Similarly, in adolescents, a correlation between low vitamin D levels and a higher risk of the metabolic syndrome has been reported.

    6/5/09 20:17 JR

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