A new study published in June 2012 reports that higher vitamin D levels may minimize weight gain in women. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys indicates that approximately 25 percent of the population is at risk of vitamin D insufficiency and 8 percent is at risk for vitamin D deficiency. Research published in the Journal of the National Medical Association shows that 65 percent of an urban population was vitamin D deficient.
Researchers set out to determine the role vitamin D plays in weight management, as vitamin D levels are lower in obese individuals. The investigators evaluated 4,659 women age 65 and older. The scientists measured serum vitamin D levels and weight at the beginning of the study and followed the subjects for 4.5 years to assess weight changes.
Researchers showed that among the women that gained five percent of body weight or greater during the follow-up period, those with higher vitamin D levels gained only 16.4 pounds compared to 18.5 pounds in women with low vitamin D levels. Of the subjects that gained weight during the study and increased their vitamin D during the study, showed less weight gain between visits.
The study authors concluded, “Higher Vitamin D levels are associated with lower weight gains, suggesting low vitamin D status may predispose to fat accumulation.”
Leblanc ES, et al. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2012 Jun 25. [Epub ahead of print.]