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Is Your Vitamin D Deficiency Making You Fat?

By on June 14, 2014
Rspan style="line-height: 1.5em;">Recent research has found a correlation between people who are overweight and low levels of vitamin D. While the official word is still out, it has been theorized that a healthy amount of vitamin D in the bloodstream could actually help you lose weight. But, are people just low on vitamin D due to an inactive lifestyle or is that lack of vitamin D really causing them to be overweight?

What Does Vitamin D Do?

Vitamin D helps regulate minerals in the body, especially calcium. It also helps your body absorb and maintain healthy levels of other nutrients in the body from the foods you eat. Your muscles rely on vitamin D to keep mobile and your immune system uses vitamin D to fight off infections and viruses.

Vitamin D and Weight Gain

A recent study assessed over 4,600 women over the age of 65 and found that those with low vitamin D levels were more overweight than those with normal to high vitamin D levels. But, the study stated it could not definitively say that vitamin D was the direct cause of obesity. Future studies are needed to see if vitamin D itself contributes to weight gain and if balancing vitamin D levels can actually help a person lose weight.

So Should You Take More Vitamin D?

Even if vitamin D doesn’t help you lose weight, your body needs adequate levels of it to thrive. Adults between the ages of 19 and 70 should have 600 IUs of vitamin D per day. Some foods naturally have vitamin D, like:

• Fatty fish

• Beef liver

• Cheese and eggs

• Mushrooms

• Milk that has been fortified with vitamin D

What About the Sun?

Vitamin D is made in your body when the skin is exposed to the sun’s rays. Most people get their vitamin D naturally from the sun, but it only works if you are outside. Vitamin D cannot be absorbed through the window. Also, if you have naturally dark skin, you may not produce as much vitamin D as a person with paler skin.

How to Know if You’re Deficient

There’s no real list of symptoms to tell you whether you’re getting enough vitamin D. If you’re worried about vitamin D levels, have your physician run a vitamin panel to test the level in your blood. Then your physician can make recommendations on how much more vitamin D you need to consume to reach a healthier level.

Readers: What are your thoughts on vitamin D? Have you seen a correlation between vitamin D and your own weight?

Resources:

ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-QuickFacts/

www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/vitamin-d/evidence/hrb-20060400

www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/news/20120625/low-vitamin-d-linked-to-weight-gain-in-older-women

www.shape.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-strategies/ask-diet-doctor-vitamin-d-and-weight-loss

articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/08/21/vitamin-d-on-weight-management.aspx

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