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To examine the associations between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels and serum liver enzymes in a representative sample of US adults.
The cross-sectional study sample consisted of 24 229 adults with data on serum 25(OH)D levels and serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and gamma-glutamyl transaminase (GGT) concentrations, in addition to data on other potential confounders. Multivariate logistic regression and linear regression were applied to assess the associations between serum 25(OH)D levels and ALT, AST, ALP and GGT concentrations.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2001–2006.
The cross-sectional study sample consisted of 24 229 adults.
We found a significant association between low serum 25(OH)D levels (<30 nmol/l) and ALP levels in all participants (OR 2·67; 95 % CI 1·98, 3·59; P < 0·001), a confirmed healthy population (OR 3·02; 95 % CI 2·25, 4·07; P < 0·001) and individuals with viral hepatitis (OR 2·87; 95 % CI 1·52, 5·44; P = 0·006) compared with those who had normal 25(OH)D levels (>50 nmol/l). Moreover, in both the logistic regression and linear regression, the associations between 25(OH)D levels and ALP levels were stronger in the subgroups with obesity. No association was present between ALT, AST or GGT levels and serum 25(OH)D levels in this population.
The results of the present study provide epidemiological evidence that vitamin D deficiency is associated with liver ALP levels in humans. This finding suggests a potential adverse effect of low 25(OH)D levels on human liver function. However, the underlying mechanisms still need further investigation.
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