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Vitamin D and Adipose Tissue Inflammation

18 Years
65 Years
Open (Enrolling)
Vitamin D Deficiency, Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Intestinal Permeability

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Trial Information

Vitamin D and Adipose Tissue Inflammation

The objective of this project is to investigate whether vitamin D modulates chronic
low-grade adipose tissue inflammation in overweight and obese, vitamin D deficient men and

Obesity is associated with insulin resistance and an increased risk for type 2 diabetes
mellitus. Numerous studies, mostly conducted in mouse models of obesity, strongly suggest
that chronic low-grade inflammation of adipose and other tissues is the major mechanism by
which increased adiposity is linked to insulin resistance. Adipose tissue inflammation may
therefore be a promising therapeutic target to reduce insulin resistance and the risk of
type 2 diabetes mellitus in obese individuals.

Based on several lines of evidence, we hypothesize that vitamin D is an environmental factor
that affects the course of the inflammatory response in most tissues of the body, including
adipose tissue. In our previous studies, we found that circulating plasma concentrations of
25-hydroxy vitamin D (25-OH-D) and the primary degradation product 24,25-dihydroxy vitamin D
(24,25-OH2-D) were significantly associated with adipose tissue expression of adiponectin
and negatively with TNF-alpha, even when adjusted for body mass index. Because these
previous studies were cross-sectional, it is critical to complete an intervention study in
humans to determine whether the observed association of vitamin D levels and adipose tissue
inflammation is causal. The objectives of this pilot study are therefore to collect relevant
preliminary data, and to begin an exploration of the mechanisms underlying this association
such as intestinal permeability.

Increased intestinal permeability may contribute to chronic low-grade inflammation and
signaling through the vitamin D receptor plays an important role in the maintenance of
intestinal integrity. We will assess whether normalization of vitamin D status is associated
with changes in intestinal permeability.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Age: 18-65 years;

- BMI ≥25 kg/m2;

- Plasma 25-OH-vitamin D between 7 and 20 ng/mL

- Weight stable to within 10 pounds for 6 months prior to entering the study, and
within 30 pounds of their lifetime maximum weight (excluding pregnancy);

- Ability to be admitted for ~6.5 hours on three occasions to the FHCRC Prevention

- Ability to provide informed written consent;

- Willingness to take vitamin D3 capsules daily for 6 months

Exclusion Criteria:

- Chronic disease such as thyroid disease, liver disease, or kidney disease;

- Diabetes mellitus, or fasting glucose >125 mg/dL;

- Chronic inflammatory condition such as autoimmune disease or inflammatory bowel

- Malabsorption syndromes (untreated celiac disease; condition after stomach or
intestinal resection);

- Current or recent (within one month) chronic intake of medications likely to
interfere with study endpoints [(insulin, antidiabetics, anabolic steroids,
glucocorticosteroids, statins, blood thinners (warfarin, aspirin), non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (if daily)];

- Current or recent (within 3 months) intake of vitamin D in excess of 600 IU/day;

- Anemia, recent history (within 3 months) of anemia; recent (within 3 months) blood
donation; recent (within 3 months) participation in another study that involved blood
draws; or plans to participate in other research that involves blood draws during the
study period;

- Pregnancy in the last 6 months, plans to become pregnant during the study period, or
current breastfeeding.

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Basic Science

Outcome Measure:

Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha expression in adipose tissue

Outcome Description:

Total RNA will be extracted from whole adipose tissue. TNF alpha mRNA will be quantified using PCR, and normalized using a normalization factor based on three housekeeping genes. We will compute the change in adipose tissue TNF alpha mRNA level between baseline and the 6 month visit.

Outcome Time Frame:

Change from baseline to the 6 month visit

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Mario Kratz, Ph.D.

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center


United States: Institutional Review Board

Study ID:




Start Date:

November 2011

Completion Date:

June 2013

Related Keywords:

  • Vitamin D Deficiency
  • Obesity
  • Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
  • Intestinal Permeability
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Obesity
  • Inflammation
  • Low-grade, chronic inflammation
  • Adipose tissue inflammation
  • Diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Insulin resistance
  • Intestinal permeability
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
  • Inflammation
  • Obesity
  • Vitamin D Deficiency



Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Seattle, Washington  98109