Objective: Vitamin D may potentially play a central role in glucose homeostasis and β-cell function (BCF), although studies are not consistent. Aim of our study was to test the hypotheses of a direct relationship between Vitamin D, insulin sensitivity (IS) and BCF in overweight and obese non-diabetic children. Design and methods: Cross-sectional study carried out at the Childhood Obesity Outpatient Clinic, University Hospital of Verona. One hundred twenty-two Caucasian overweight and obese children (age: 12.8 ± 0.2 years) were enrolled. Exclusion criteria: genetic or endocrine causes of obesity, chronic diseases or therapies. Patients underwent oral glucose tolerance test. HOMA-IR, Matsuda index and insulinogenic index were calculated. BCF was reconstructed by mathematical modeling and described by Derivative and Proportional Control. Total 25-hydroxyvitamin D and Vitamin D-binding protein (VDBP) were measured. Two SNPs (rs4588 and rs7041) in the VDBP gene were studied, and bioavailable Vitamin D (BVD) was calculated. Results: Hypovitaminosis D was documented in 90% of patients. Forty-seven subjects were homozygous for both SNPs. Total Vitamin D was positively correlated with Matsuda index (P = 0.002), VDBP (P = 0.045), and negatively with BMI SDS (P = 0.043), HOMA-IR (P = 0.008), HOMA-B (P = 0.001), IGI (P = 0.007), derivative control (P = 0.036) and proportional control (P = 0.018). Total Vitamin D, adjusted for age, gender, BMI SDS, puberty and seasonality of Vitamin D measurement, was a predictor of Matsuda index, HOMA-IR, HOMA-B, IGI, proportional control (all P < 0.05). BVD was positively correlated with total Vitamin D (P < 0.001) and negatively with BMI SDS (P = 0.041). Conclusions: Hypovitaminosis D negatively influences BCF and IS, suggesting that Vitamin D levels might be implicated in glucose metabolism impairment in overweight and obese individuals.
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