Vitamin D and cardiometabolic disorders: a review of current evidence, genetic determinants and pathomechanisms

Obes Rev. 2019 Feb;20(2):262-277. doi: 10.1111/obr.12793. Epub 2018 Nov 18.


Vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in the pathophysiology of cardiometabolic disorders including obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases and polycystic ovary syndrome. Despite a large number of experimental and observational studies supporting a role for vitamin D in these pathologies, randomized controlled trials have reported little to no effect of vitamin D supplementation in the prevention or treatment of these disorders, although some results remain ambiguous. Polymorphisms in genes related to vitamin D metabolism, particularly in the vitamin D receptor and binding protein and the metabolizing enzyme 1-α-hydroxylase, have emerged as potential contributors to these divergent results. It is now becoming increasingly recognized that the effects and potential benefits of vitamin D supplementation may vary by several factors including vitamin D deficiency status, ethnicity and/or the presence of genetic variants, which affect individual responses to supplementation. However, these factors have seldom been explored in the available literature. Future trials should consider inter-individual differences and, in particular, should aim to clarify whether certain subgroups of individuals may benefit from vitamin D supplementation in the context of cardiometabolic health.

Keywords: Cardiometabolic disorders; diabetes; obesity; vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Diseases / etiology*
  • Metabolic Diseases / prevention & control
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications*