Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 58, Issue 8, pp 2376–2382 | Cite as

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

  • Lihua Li
  • Lei Zhang
  • Shaoyi Pan
  • Xinhua Wu
  • Xueyan Yin
Original Article



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.


Vitamin D Vitamin D deficiency Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the voluntary participation of all study subjects and the expert assistance of Dr. Chaoyong Yao, Dr. Xuechuang Zhu, Dr. Xueyan Li, Dr. Xiao Dong, Dr. Xiaoping Wang, Professor Yonglin Yang, and Professor Shuhuai Xu. The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (30960137) supported this research.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lihua Li
    • 1
  • Lei Zhang
    • 1
  • Shaoyi Pan
    • 1
  • Xinhua Wu
    • 1
  • Xueyan Yin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineDali University School of Clinical MedicineDaliChina

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