Vitamin D

Vitamin D Deficiency, Body Fat and Impaired Fat Loss: New Research and Insights

by Mike Mutzel


New research suggests Vitamin D influences the structure and function of fat cells and may even influence how much body fat is stored and released to be burned as energy. We discuss this emerging research and implications in the prevention of obesity and it’s related diseases like diabetes and heart disease.





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Studies Mentioned:

Szymczak-Pajor, I., Miazek, K., Selmi, A., Balcerczyk, A., & Śliwińska, A. (2022). The Action of Vitamin D in Adipose Tissue: Is There the Link between Vitamin D Deficiency and Adipose Tissue-Related Metabolic Disorders? International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23(2), 956.

Show Notes:

00:26 Vitamin D is sequestered in fat tissue.

00:30 Vitamin D influences your metabolism, with the release of adipocytokines like leptin and adiponectin.

00:58 Vitamin D insufficiency causes a dysregulation within your fat cells, which contribute to metabolic disease and chronic inflammation.

01:30 If you live north of Atlanta Georgia, winter sun is insufficient to induce vitamin D cutaneous synthesis.

02:25 Vitamin D in adipose (fat) tissue affects, energy metabolism and how many fat cells you are making.

02:40 When you are overweight and obese, your fat cells become necrotic, and they can die. Calcium signaling is intimately involved in fat cell apoptosis. Calcium and vitamin D go hand in hand.

03:22 The active form of vitamin D is produced, stored and degraded in fat tissue. The vitamin D receptor and the active vitamin D metabolite are expressed in adipocytes (fat cells) allowing vitamin D to exert genomic and non-genomic responses in fat cells. It affects the release or lipolysis of fat.

04:30 Vitamin D exerts significant effects on the formation of fat cells (adipogenesis). That is a gain of billions of new fat cells for every 10 pounds of body weight.

05:00 Sufficient levels active metabolites of vitamin D suppress the accelerated adipogenesis, shown in animal and cellular models.

06:00 Supplemental ergocalciferol, vitamin D2, is not as effective a vitamin D3. Ergocalciferol can be found in mushrooms. Placing your mushrooms in the sun, increases their amount of vitamin D2 and D4.

07:00 Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) is acquired from your food or sun exposure. Food sources are fatty fish, dairy, ruminants, the flesh/skin of vertebrae animals, egg yolks and dietary supplements.

08:10 Vitamin D5, sitocalciferol, is derived from an Ayurvedic herb called Rauwolfia serpentina.

09:05 Your liver is responsible for hydroxylating pre-vitamin D into the somewhat active form, calcidiol. This is what is measured in your blood, 25-hydroxy vitamin D.

09:20 Either your fat cells or your kidney further hydroxylates it into 125-dihydroxy vitamin D, calcitriol, is the active form.

09:55 The conversion from 25-hydroxy vitamin D to the 125 dihydroxy vitamin D is down regulated In fat cells, particularly in overweight people.

12:09 Vitamin D activates the vitamin D receptor. Generally, vitamins are cofactors. Vitamin D receptor is found in your fat tissue, kidney, muscle, and bone. When it is activated, it effects your immune system, calcium homeostasis and binding and many inflammatory pathways.

12:55 The vitamin D receptor impacts lipolysis, the release of lipids from your fat cells for energy.


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13:18 Your fat tissues store between 35 and 75% of your total body levels of vitamin D.

13:46 People who have diabetes or insulin resistance or are obese, there is less fat cell turnover, which releases vitamin D that was stored in fat cells. So less vitamin D is released to the resto of the body.

14:00 Vitamin d deficiency is 35 to 40% higher in overweight or obese people, or diabetics.

14:30 Vitamin D impacts many functions within the fat cell, including the upregulation of fat cell creation.

15:08 Lipid accumulation decreases with increasing calcitriol (125-dihydroxy vitamin D) dosages.

15:40 Fat cell inflammation is mediated by leptin. High levels of leptin dysregulate the immune system, creating inflammation. Vitamin D insufficiency can be a factor.

16:40 Chronic activation of immune system cells can trigger inflammation in obesity related pathogenesis in which insulin resistance is involved.

17:03 Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappa B) transcription factor triggers inflammatory cascades within your cells. Vitamin D can inhibit this NF-kappa B activation.

17:30 Overweight or obese individuals have a higher prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency.

18:00 Dosing of supplemental vitamin D should be based upon body fat and health status.

18:23 Vitamin D impacts calcium metabolism. The balance of calcium affects apoptosis, preprogrammed cell death.

19:35 Serum vitamin D levels of 59 to 60 nanograms/ml are considered most protective during winter months. Higher vitamin D levels trigger a higher absorption of calcium. More is not always better.

20:00 Exercise helps to promote fat cell health and metabolism. It can mobilize fat cell lipids. Flux of fat cells is healthy. Fasting also promotes a healthy churn of your fat tissue.

22:00 With supplemental vitamin D, there are reductions in fasting glucose, hemoglobin A1C, and increases in triglycerides, improving metabolic health.

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