The aim of this review is to provide a general overview of the possible associations among the vitamin D status, air pollution and obesity. Sunlight exposure accounts in humans for more than 90 % of the production of vitamin D. Among emerging factors influencing sunlight-induced synthesis of vitamin D, prospective and observational studies proved that air pollution constitutes an independent risk factor in the pathogenesis of vitamin D hypovitaminosis. In addition, environmental pollutants can affect risk of obesity when inhaled, in combination with unhealthy diet and lifestyle. In turn, obesity is closely associated with a low vitamin D status and many possible mechanisms have been proposed to explain this association. The associations of air pollution with low vitamin D status on the hand and with obesity on the other hand, could provide a rationale for considering obesity as a further link between air pollution and low vitamin D status. In this respect, a vicious cycle could operate among low vitamin D status, air pollution, and obesity, with additive detrimental effects on cardio-metabolic risk in obese individuals. Besides vitamin D supplementation, nutrient combination, used to maximize the protective effects against air pollution, might also contribute to improve the vitamin D status by attenuating the “obesogen” effects of air pollution.
- Air pollution
- Environmental factor
- Vitamin D
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism