Vitamin D May Play a Role In Obesity and Weight Management
According the the Center for Disease Control, more than one-third of Americans (35.7%) claim an obese status, and, despite efforts, no state has reached the 2010 national goal to lower obesity to 15%. The number of states that contain 30% or more obese residents rose from zero in the year 2000, to twelve in 2010. Obesity increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some types of cancer.
A study published just last month noted that in 4600 women over age 65, those with lower levels of vitamin D gained more weight over a five-year period than those women who had normal levels of this vitamin. Their study showed that nearly 80 percent of the women in their study had low levels of vitamin D. Older adults remain at greater risk of low vitamin D levels due to them spending more time indoors and eating fewer foods that contain it. Those that had higher weights at the beginning of the study had lower vitamin D levels, and vice versa. Although no subjects were trying to lose weight, those with higher vitamin D levels gained less weight than those with lower levels.
A study of 68 teens suffering from obesity showed that nearly all of them had low vitamin D levels (100% of females and 91% or males). Their lower vitamin D levels may have been caused by spending less time in outdoor activities. Some other recent studies suggest that their vitamin D levels may be a result of their fat storing the vitamin D, rather than it flowing in the blood. Because of this, obese teens may need more vitamin D. In a follow up study, only 28% had normal vitamin D levels, despite taking supplements at the recommended dose. A study where obese teens took the upper limit of the vitamin D range (4000 IU) for six months, showed that their vitamin D levels were “significantly greater” than those who took a placebo. While it’s unclear whether vitamin D levels have any direct relationship to obesity, a correlation does exist.
Low levels of vitamin D result from low intake, poor absorption, getting little sunlight, and/or an increased need for vitamin D. Older adults, those who are obese, those with dark skin, those who have trouble absorbing fat, and breast-fed infants are at risk of having low vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D can be found in fatty fish, eggs, and fortified products. Some prefer to take a high-quality daily supplement to reach levels needed for good health.
Effective weight management and vitamin D? Another great reason to hold it dear to your heart.