Objective: To examine the relationships between plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and in vivo insulin sensitivity and β-cell function relative to insulin sensitivity, disposition index (DI), in black and white youth.
Research design and methods: Plasma 25(OH)D concentrations were analyzed in banked specimens in healthy youth aged 8 to 18 years who had existing data on hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic and hyperglycemic clamp to assess insulin sensitivity and secretion, and measurements of body composition, and abdominal visceral adipose tissue (VAT) and subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT).
Results: A total of 183 research volunteers (mean ± SD; age, 12.6 ± 2.2 years; 98 white, 98 male, 92 obese) were studied. Analysis of HbA(1c), fasting glucose and insulin, insulin sensitivity, and DI across quartiles of plasma 25(OH)D revealed no differences among whites. In blacks, the observed significance of higher insulin sensitivity and DI in the highest quartile of 25(OH)D disappeared after adjusting for any of the adiposity measures (BMI or fat mass or VAT or SAT). The difference in insulin sensitivity (9.4 ± 1.2 vs. 5.6 ± 0.5 mg/kg/min per μU/mL; P = 0.006) between 25(OH)D nondeficient (≥20 ng/mL) versus deficient (<20 ng/mL) black youth also was negated when adjusted for adiposity.
Conclusions: In healthy youth, plasma 25(OH)D concentrations bear no independent relationship to parameters of glucose homeostasis and in vivo insulin sensitivity and β-cell function relative to insulin sensitivity. It remains to be determined whether in youth with dysglycemia the relationships are different and whether vitamin D optimization enhances insulin sensitivity and β-cell function.