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Association of intestinal permeability with admission vitamin D deficiency in patients who are critically ill


Emerging data have led to the hypothesis that vitamin D plays a role in promoting epithelial barrier dysfunction. Therefore, intestinal permeability becomes a significant determiner in the future of patients hospitalized in intensive care unit (ICU). The relationship between vitamin D and intestinal permeability remains unclear in patients who are critically ill. The aim of the study is to document the relationship between the admission vitamin D deficiency and markers of intestinal permeability in the critical care setting. This was a single-center, observational, prospective study in the general ICU of a university-affiliated hospital. A sample of 144 ICU-hospitalized adult patients was recruited between January and May 2018. The admission serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were measured and categorized as <20 and ≥20 ng/dL, respectively. Moreover, the admission plasma endotoxin and zonulin concentrations as markers of intestinal permeability were determined in stringent conditions. The association between markers of intestinal permeability and 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels was assessed adjusting for potential confounders through an estimation of a binary logistic regression model. Our results showed that median plasma endotoxin and zonulin decreased with increasing serum levels of vitamin D categories (p=0.001) in the overall study population. Multivariate binary logistic regression analyses showed a significant association between the plasma endotoxin (OR 0.12, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.52) and zonulin (OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.87 to 0.99) levels with serum levels of vitamin D categories in the overall population. Our finding suggests a relationship between vitamin D deficiency and early alterations in intestinal permeability. Thus, evaluating vitamin D levels in patients who are critically ill may be warranted.

  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • inflammation
  • intensive care units
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