25-hydroxyvitamin D3 is effective treatment for vitamin D deficiency; Study

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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According to a new study, 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 appears to be an effective treatment for vitamin D deficiency in some patients.

Several million people suffer from fat malabsorption syndromes around the world, including those who have undergone gastric bypass surgery and those who are obese.

These patients frequently have trouble absorbing vitamin D, and both groups are at an elevated risk of vitamin D deficiency, which puts them at a higher risk of osteoporosis and osteomalacia (softening of the bones).

Vitamin D generated from intestinal absorption and cutaneous synthesis is diluted in a larger body pool of fat in obese patients, making them vulnerable to vitamin D deficiency.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published these findings online.

According to the researchers, almost one-third of adults are obese, requiring substantially higher doses of vitamin D to meet their needs.

“This vitamin D metabolite is better absorbed in patients with fat malabsorption syndromes and since it is not as fat-soluble, it does not gets diluted in the body fat and is effective in raising and maintaining blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in obese people,” said corresponding author Dr. Michael F. Holick, Ph.D., MD, professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics and molecular medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.

Healthy individuals, adults with a fat malabsorption syndrome, and obese people were compared to see if a more water-soluble version of vitamin D3 called 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 was more helpful in increasing their vitamin D status than the same dose of vitamin D3.

In comparison to healthy adults, only about 36 percent of orally taken vitamin D3 was found in the blood of patients with fat malabsorption syndromes, including those who had gastric bypass surgery, the researchers found.

Patients with fat malabsorption syndromes were able to absorb 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 as well as healthy adults, boosting their vitamin D status to the same level. When obese subjects were compared to healthy controls, a similar finding was made.

Dr. Holick remarked that “therefore using 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 could be a novel approach for treating vitamin D deficiency in patients with fat malabsorption syndromes and obese adults.”

Vitamin D deficiency causes both bone loss and osteomalacia, a painful bone disease. Patients with osteomalacia who are vitamin D deficient experience unrelenting achiness in their bones and muscles.

Multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, neurocognitive dysfunction, and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as infectious disorders like COVID, have all been linked to vitamin D deficiency.

Related: Want to boost immunity? Then ensure your daily dose of vitamin C & Zinc


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