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Vitamin D Deficiency May Lead to Obesity

Previous research has been inconclusive as to whether obesity is responsible for low levels of vitamin D, or if low levels of vitamin D can lead to obesity. Now a recent study has found evidence that suggests that low vitamin D levels are a pre-cursor to obesity rather than a result of obesity.

The study included 1,226 individuals who had three visits with a doctor between 1996 and 2007. At the first visit, 28.1% of the participants were obese and 35% were vitamin D deficient. 36.2% were obese at the second visit, and 39.5% were obese at the third visit.

The researchers noted that the non-obese participants who were vitamin D deficient at the time of the second visit had a significantly higher risk of becoming obese within the next four years..

The researchers are still unclear on the exact relationship between vitamin D and obesity, but note their study suggests that vitamin D status may determine the risk of obesity.

Researchers from the Hospital Regional Universitario Carlos Haya de Malaga and Ciber de Diabetes y Metabolismo in Spain conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on February 20, 2013, in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Previous studies have shown vitamin D to be associated with improved kidney health, reductions in the risk of skin cancer, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, and improving age related eye degeneration.

Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. As this study shows, your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

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