, Volume 58, Issue 8, pp 2376-2382
Date: 16 Apr 2013

No Significant Association Between Vitamin D and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in a Chinese Population

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Some research evidence from Western populations suggests that lower vitamin D is associated with the prevalence and histologically assessed severity of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).


To investigate the associations of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations and vitamin D status (deficiency <20 ng/ml; insufficiency 20–30 ng/ml; sufficiency >30 ng/ml) with the prevalence of NAFLD in study population of Chinese.


Serum 25(OH)D, parathyroid hormone, lipids, liver enzymes, and anthropometric characteristics were measured in 1,248 subjects aged ≥20 years. NAFLD was diagnosed using abdominal ultrasound examination.


The prevalence of NAFLD was 30.3 % in the total study population, 37.9 % in the male subjects, and 20.8 % in the female subjects (P < 0.0001). Subjects with NAFLD had a significantly higher body mass index, higher levels of fasting blood glucose and liver enzymes, and a more atherogenic lipid profile. However, serum 25(OH)D concentrations were not significantly different between subjects with and without NAFLD (22.1 vs. 22.8 ng/ml, respectively; P = 0.21). In addition, a 10 ng/ml higher serum 25(OH)D concentrations [odds ratio (OR) 1.02, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.84–1.25, P = 0.82] or vitamin D status (vs. sufficiency: deficiency OR 0.86, 95 % CI 0.54–1.37, P = 0.52; insufficiency OR 0.96, 95 % CI 0.61–1.52, P = 0.87) were not significantly associated with the presence of NAFLD in the multivariate logistic regression analyses.


Serum 25(OH)D concentrations or vitamin D status were not significantly associated with the presence of NAFLD. More studies are needed to elucidate the relationship between vitamin D and the occurrence of NAFLD in Chinese.