Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations are inversely correlated with hepatic lipid content in male collegiate football athletes

Xiaomin Sun, Zhen Bo Cao, Kumpei Tanisawa, Satomi Oshima, Mitsuru Higuchi

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Lower serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations are associated with more weight and fat mass gain in adults in the general population, but it is unknown whether this is the case in collegiate football athletes with greater body weight. This study aimed to investigate associations of serum 25(OH)D concentrations with body fat and ectopic fat accumulation, and to determine which fat indicators are closely related to serum 25(OH)D in male collegiate football athletes. Thirty-four collegiate athletes aged 21 years were recruited. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations and the levels of visceral fat area (VFA), vastus lateralis intramyocellular lipid (IMCL), extramyocellular lipid (EMCL), and intrahepatic lipid (IHCL) were measured. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations were negatively associated with the IHCL values (r = −0.372, p = 0.030), and the relationship remained after adjustment for several factors (r = −0.378, p = 0.047). Additionally, multiple stepwise regression analysis of IHCL content as the dependent variable indicated that 25(OH)D concentrations were a stronger predictor of IHCL content (β = −0.363, p = 0.030) than % body fat and VO2peakFFM. Higher serum 25(OH)D concentrations are more closely related to lower IHCL content rather than any other fat indicators, suggesting that increasing serum 25(OH)D concentrations may have some effect that inhibits lipid accumulation in hepatic tissue, especially in heavy athletes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number942
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 21



  • Abdominal body fat
  • American football
  • Ectopic fat
  • Rugby football
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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