Low vitamin D has been recently recognsied as a world wide epidemic. In the adult population, the prevalence of low vitamin D is from 5 to 30 percent , but it reaches a peak of 75 percent in patients with metabolic syndrome (Barchetta, Angelico, Ben, Baroni, Pozzilli, Morini & Cavallo, 2011). Non alcohol related fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a pathological condition consisting of a spectrum of liver diseases due to macrovesicular accumulation of triglycerides within hepatocytes (hepatic steatosis). In developed countries, NAFLD is observed in 20 to 30 percent of the general population, and in 75 percent of patients diagnosed with metabolic syndrome (elevated blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, overweight) (Barchetta, Angelico, Ben, Baroni, Pozzilli, Morini & Cavallo, 2011). In a recent study, researchers from the University of Rome, Italy, tested the hypothesis of a direct association between low vitamin D and the presence of NAFLD in subjects with various degrees of metabolic disorders (Barchetta, Angelico, Ben, Baroni, Pozzilli, Morini & Cavallo, 2011). Of the 262 consecutive subjects undertaking the study, 162 were diagnosed, via ultrasound, as presenting with NAFLD. Subjects with NAFLD reported an avergae vitamin D level of 41 nmol/l, well outside the reference range of 51-200 nmol/l. It is well understood that vitamin D should fall between 75 to 100 nmol/l (Barchetta, Angelico, Ben, Baroni, Pozzilli, Morini & Cavallo, 2011).
Barchetta, I., Angelico, F., Ben, M.D., Baroni, M.G., Pozzilli, P., Morini, S. & Cavallo, M.G. 2011. Strong association between non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and low 25(OH) vitamin D levels in an adult population with normal serum liver enzymes. BMC Medicine, 9, 85, 3-7.