Severe vitamin D deficiency linked to fatty liver: Study
Blida, Algeria: Results from a recent study have revealed a positive association between severe vitamin D deficiency and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The study appears in the Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders. Also, the authors quantified an an excess risk in women combining both metabolic syndrome (MS) and severe vitamin D deficiency.
NALFD is a very common liver disorder and indicates a group of condition wherein there is accumulation of excess fat in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol. A non serious condition called fatty liver is the most common form of NALFD. Previous studies on the association between hypovitaminosis D and NAFLD have yielded conflicting results. Salam Bennouar, University Hospital center of Blida, Blida, Algeria, and colleagues, therefore, aimed to explore the individual and combined effect of hypovitaminosis D and MS on NAFLD in a cross-sectional study.
The study included 874 participants. The researchers used a sequential competitive immuno-fluoro-assay method for assessing 25(OH)D, and Fatty Liver Index (FLI) was used for NAFLD screening. The association between vitamin D status, MS and NAFLD was investigated using binary logistic regression and additive interaction.
Following were the study's key findings:
- Severe vitamin D deficiency was found to be positively related to NAFLD, women were at higher risk versus men (OR = 6.4 vs. OR = 5.8).
- In men, this association was partially masked by obesity.
- The additive interaction with MS was significant in women but not in men, the relative excess risk due to interaction was of 7.2, the attributable proportion due to the combined effect was of 0.6.
- The interaction mechanism is synergistic; the synergy index: was of 2.9.
"We found a positive association between severe vitamin D deficiency and NAFLD," wrote the authors. "Moreover, an excess risk in women combining both MS and severe vitamin D deficiency was quantified."
Bennouar, S., Cherif, A.B., Kessira, A. et al. Association and interaction between vitamin D level and metabolic syndrome for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. J Diabetes Metab Disord 20, 1309–1317 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40200-021-00857-5