International Journal of Medical Sciences

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15 December 2018

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Int J Med Sci 2018; 15(14):1778-1786. doi:10.7150/ijms.26586

Research Paper

No Evidence for Lower Levels of Serum Vitamin D in the Presence of Hepatic Steatosis. A Study on the Portuguese General Population

Jorge Leitão1✉, Sofia Carvalhana2, Ana Paula Silva3, Francisco Velasco4, Isabel Medeiros5, Ana Catarina Alves6, Mafalda Bourbon6, Bárbara Oliveiros7, Armando Carvalho1, Helena Cortez-Pinto8

1. Internal Medicine, Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra EPE, Praceta Prof. Mota Pinto 3000-075 Coimbra, Portugal, Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Portugal, Azinhaga de Santa Comba, Celas 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal;
2. Serviço de Gastroenterologia, Hospital de Santa Maria, Laboratório de Nutrição, FML, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Prof. Egas Moniz, 1649-035 Lisboa, Portugal.
3. Serviço de Gastroenterologia, Centro Hospitalar de Vila Nova de Gaia e Espinho, EPE, Rua Conceição Fernandes, 4434-502 Vila Nova de Gaia.
4. Serviço de Gastrenterologia, Centro Hospitalar Universitário do, Algarve, EPE- Hospital de Faro, Leão Penedo, 8000-386 Faro, Portugal.
5. Serviço de Gastroenterologia, Hospital Espírito Santo E.P.E, Évora, Largo Senhor da Pobreza, 7000-811 Évora, Portugal.
6. Biosystems and Integrative Science Institute (BioISI), Instituto Nacional de Saúde Dr. Ricardo Jorge, Avenida Padre Cruz, 1649-016 Lisboa, Portugal.
7. Laboratório de Bioestatística e Informática Médica, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Coimbra, Azinhaga de Santa Comba, Celas 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal.
8. Serviço de Gastroenterologia, Hospital de Santa Maria, Laboratório de Nutrição, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, Av. Prof. Egas Moniz, 1649-035 Lisboa, Portugal.

Abstract

Introduction and aims: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become highly prevalent, paralleling the pandemic of obesity and diabetes, and represents an important burden. Nutrition knowledge is fundamental, in prevention, evolution and treatment of NAFLD. Association of low serum levels of vitamin D (VD) with several diseases, including NAFLD, has been emphasized in the last decade.

We evaluated how serum levels of VD correlate with the presence of hepatic steatosis, and VD intake, in a random sample of the Portuguese adult population.

Methods: Participants underwent a dietary intake inquiry, using a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire representative of the usual intake over the previous year. Anthropometric measures, blood tests and ultrasound were done. Hepatic steatosis was quantified according to Hamaguchi's ultrasonographic score (steatosis defined by a score ≥ 2).

Results: We recruited 789 adult individuals, 416 males (52.7%), mean age of 49.9 ± 17.0 years (18-79). Prevalence of hepatic steatosis was 35.5%, and after exclusion of excessive alcohol consumption, 28.0%. Mean VD serum levels were 26.0 ± 9.8 ng/ml and 68.4% participants had serum VD levels below 30 ng/ml. Mean serum levels of VD were not significantly different between participants with steatosis vs. no steatosis: 25.2±8.7 vs. 26.4±10.3 ng/ml, respectively (p=0.071). There was no correlation between VD serum levels and VD intake, measured by the FFQ, r=0.075 (p= 0.383).

Conclusions: In spite of a high prevalence rate, there was no evidence that decreased VD serum levels were associated with hepatic steatosis. No significant correlation was found between VD dietary ingestion and VD serum levels.

Keywords: Hepatic steatosis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, vitamin D, common population

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How to cite this article:
Leitão J, Carvalhana S, Silva AP, Velasco F, Medeiros I, Alves AC, Bourbon M, Oliveiros B, Carvalho A, Cortez-Pinto H. No Evidence for Lower Levels of Serum Vitamin D in the Presence of Hepatic Steatosis. A Study on the Portuguese General Population. Int J Med Sci 2018; 15(14):1778-1786. doi:10.7150/ijms.26586. Available from http://www.medsci.org/v15p1778.htm