Free, circulating vitamin D levels in the blood may be a better predictor of future health risks than total vitamin D in aging men, according to a study (abstract #1044) presented at the European Society of Endocrinology (e-ECE 2020) annual meeting (September 5-9) (https://www.ese-hormones.org/). These data suggest that the free, precursor form of vitamin D found circulating in the bloodstream is a more accurate predictor of future health and disease risk, than the often-measured total vitamin D. Because vitamin D deficiency is associated with multiple serious health conditions as people get older, this study suggests that further investigation into vitamin D levels and their link to poor health may be a promising area for further research. Vitamin D deficiency is common in Europe, especially in elderly people. It has been associated with a higher risk for developing many aging-related diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoporosis. However, there are several forms, or metabolites, of vitamin D in the body but it is the total amount of these metabolites that is most often used to assess the vitamin D status of people. The prohormone, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D is converted to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, which is considered the active form of vitamin D in our body. More than 99% of all vitamin D metabolites in our blood are bound to proteins, so only a very small fraction is free to be biologically active. Therefore, the free, active forms may be a better predictor of current and future health. Dr. Leen Antonio from University Hospitals Leuven in Belgium and a team of colleagues investigated whether the free metabolites of vitamin D were better health predictors, using data from the European Male Ageing Study, which was collected from 1,970 community-dwelling men, aged 40-79, between 2003 and 2005.
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