Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Food Science and Human Nutrition


Diet and Exercise

First Advisor

Rick L. Sharp


Recently, low serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] have been linked to disturbances in glucose metabolism, development of type 2 diabetes, and increased risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Moreover, deficiency of vitamin D is now recognized to be highly prevalent in the U.S. and worldwide, impacting between 30% and 50% of the general population. Therefore, the objective of this research study is to examine the associations between serum 25-hyroxyvitamin D and MetS. Data were collected from the Nutritional Interventions for Age-Related Muscular Function and Strength Losses Study. From this cohort, 186 independently living males and females over the age of 60, with vitamin D levels between 18 ng/mL and 30 ng/mL, without any existing liver or kidney disease or uncontrolled diabetes mellitus or type 1 diabetes mellitus requiring insulin, provided baseline data. A Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.02 with non-significant p-value of 0.77 was found between MetS score and 25(OH)D. Factors such as average heart rate (p <0.05), weight (p <0.001) , BMI (p <0.001), LDL:HDL ratio (p <0.01), android fat (%) (p < 0.001), gynoid fat mass (p <0.001), and gynoid fat (%) (p <0.01) were found to have significant associations with the MetS score. A backwards stepwise regression indicated that android fat (%) (p <0.001), gynoid fat (%) (p = 0.001), total cholesterol (p <0.001), VLDL cholesterol (p <0.001), and LDL:HDL ratio (p <0.001) were most predictive of the MetS score. In conclusion, the major finding of this study was that the combination of android fat (%), gynoid fat (%), total cholesterol, VLDL cholesterol, and the LDL:HDL ratio were predictive of the MetS score. However, no significant association between low vitamin D status and prevalence of MetS could be established.


Copyright Owner

Allison Ann Hedges



File Format


File Size

51 pages