Gut genes related to important disease changed in Obese with 2,000 IU for 12 weeks – May 2019

A preliminary transcriptome analysis suggests a transitory effect of vitamin D on mitochondrial function in obese young Finnish subjects

Endocrine Connections , vol. 8 , no. 5 , pp. 559-570 .
Einarsdottir , E , Pekkinen , M , Krjutskov , K , Katayama , S , Kere , J , Mäkitie , O & Viljakainen


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10 upregulated gene pathways


Objective: The effect of vitamin D at the transcriptome level is poorly understood, and furthermore, it is unclear if it differs between obese and normal-weight subjects. The objective of the study was to explore the transcriptome effects of vitamin D supplementation.

Design and methods: We analysed peripheral blood gene expression using GlobinLock oligonucleotides followed by RNA sequencing in individuals participating in a 12-week randomised double-blinded placebo-controlled vitamin D intervention study. The study involved 18 obese and 18 normal-weight subjects (of which 20 males) with mean (+/- s.D.) age 20.4 (+/- 2.5) years and BMIs 36 (+/- 10) and 23 (+/- 4) kg/m(2), respectively. The supplemental daily vitamin D dose was 50 mu g (2000 IU). Data were available at baseline, 6- and 12-week time points and comparisons were performed between the vitamin D and placebo groups separately in obese and normal-weight subjects.

Results: Significant transcriptomic changes were observed at 6 weeks, and only in the obese subjects: 1724 genes were significantly upregulated and 186 genes were downregulated in the vitamin D group compared with placebo. Further analyses showed several enriched gene categories connected to mitochondrial function and metabolism, and the most significantly enriched pathway was related to oxidative phosphorylation (adjusted P value 3.08 x 10(-14)). Taken together, our data suggest an effect of vitamin D supplementation on mitochondrial function in obese subjects.

Conclusions: Vitamin D supplementation affects gene expression in obese, but not in normal-weight subjects. The altered genes are enriched in pathways related to mitochondrial function. The present study increases the understanding of the effects of vitamin D at the transcriptome level.

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