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Researchers discover new mechanism by which vitamin D may help maintain lipid balance

Posted on: February 13, 2017   by  Missy Sturges & John Canell, MD

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A new study published in the journal Cell Chemical Biology discovered vitamin D may inhibit the activation of a type of protein responsible for lipid production.

Sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs) are required for the synthesis and uptake of cholesterol and fatty acids in the body. Once activated, SREBPs increase the expression of genes that create enzymes needed to make lipids.

This protein is crucial for maintaining lipid balance in the body. However, abnormally high SREBP activity is associated with the development of metabolic diseases, such as obesity, fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis.

Studies have shown that vitamin D is linked to a variety of metabolic diseases; however, the mechanism behind this relationship remains unclear. That is, until a recent study discovered a new mechanism in which vitamin D regulates lipid metabolism.

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