Lower levels of vitamin D may mean higher numbers on the scale, according to new research.
This study linking lack of vitamin D with weight gain in postmenopausal women is one of the first to show this correlation, and I expect it will cause other researchers to take an even closer look at how vitamin D can influence body weight.
It’s also another example of how everything we do for our bone health should be good for the entire body.
Here are the highlights of the study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and published online in the Journal of Women’s Health. It looked at nearly 4,600 women over the age of 65 for five years:
• Women with insufficient blood levels of vitamin D gained more weight than those with adequate levels of the vitamin.
• The difference in weight gain was about two pounds. In the group of 571 women who gained weight, those with insufficient Vitamin D levels gained 18.5 pounds over five years. Women who had sufficient vitamin D gained 16.4 pounds.
• Nearly 80% of women in the study had insufficient vitamin D (less than 30 ng/mL).
I know that the weight aspect of the study will be interesting to a lot of people — after all, we all want to know what contributes to extra pounds — but it’s just as important that almost 80% of the women in the study have vitamin D levels so low they will limit calcium absorption.
I recommend an ideal level of 50-60 ng/mL for better bones and a better body. For more information about the whole body benefits of vitamin D, read my article “Vitamin D: its benefits are more than ever imagined.”
Kaiser Permanente (2012, June 25). Low vitamin D levels linked to weight gain in some older women. ScienceDaily. (accessed 07.05.12)