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Vitamin D Found To Fight Metabolic Syndrome, Boost Gut Flora

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Keeping vitamin D levels high in the body can assist in preventing and treating the metabolic syndrome, as well as improving the balance of good and bad bacteria in the intestine.

What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is the most common health disorder prevailing in more than 25% of the world's adult population. It is the key to chronic diseases like heart problems and diabetes. The major reason behind this health condition appears to be the deficiency in vitamin D and intake of diet rich in fats and carbohydrates.

The typical symptoms of metabolic syndrome consist of flabbiness on the waist, excess fat in the liver and presence of a minimum of two of the following three conditions: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar levels.

Vitamin D Essential To Battle Metabolic Syndrome

A study conducted on mice by Yuan-Ping Han's group of researchers at Sichuan University in China reveals that by maintaining high levels of vitamin D, the metabolic syndrome can be prevented and treated effectively. The experiment done also confirmed that a fat-rich diet compromises the integrity of the intestinal bacteria, leading to a fatty liver and raised blood sugar levels.

According to Professor Stephen Pandol, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, USA, who worked in partnership with Han's group, similar to mice, humans taking vitamin D, either as a supplement or through sun exposure, can battle against metabolic syndrome.

"A sufficient dietary vitamin D supplement can partially but significantly antagonize metabolic syndrome caused by high fat diet in mice," said Pandol in a press release. "These are amounts equivalent to the dietary recommendations for humans."

The study published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology concluded that diet high on fat disturbs the integrity of the good and bad bacteria in the intestine, leading to deposition of excess fat in the liver and faint raising of blood sugar intensity in mice. Moreover, an inadequate amount of vitamin D in the body intensifies the unevenness in the community of microorganisms living in the gut, resulting in excess fat in the liver and in metabolic syndrome.

Next Step Is Validating The Experiment On Humans

The study on mice confirms that deficiency of vitamin D hampers the production of defensins, the anti-microbial molecules necessary for maintaining the integrity of gut bacteria. Improving vitamin D levels by oral intake of artificial defensin not only improves the intestinal bacteria balance, but also regulates blood sugar levels and helps in the recovery of fatty liver.

After successfully testing the connection of vitamin D and metabolic syndrome in mice, the next step is authenticating the same theory in humans. Soon the inexpensive and viable options of fighting against the metabolic syndrome would merely be taking sunbaths or oral vitamin D administration.

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