Study Reveals Link Between Insufficient Vitamin D and Weight Gain

According to researchers, older women who have insufficient levels of vitamin D may gain more weight than women with sufficient levels of the vitamin.  

Article written by guest writer Rin Mitchell

What’s the Latest Development?

A study was conducted by researchers at the nonprofit Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. It revealed a link between insufficient levels of vitamin D and weight gain. Researchers monitored a group of 4,600 women 65 years and older. Sixty percent of the women remained within five percent of what their weight was when they began the study; twelve percent of the women had gained more than five percent of their body weight; twenty-seven percent had lost the same percentage of their body weight by the conclusion of the study. “Researchers also found that nearly 80 percent of all the women in the study had less-than-sufficient levels of vitamin D, as determined by guidelines from the Endocrine Society (they had less than 30 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood).” However, researchers warn that it is only a correlation, and there is no evidence that low levels of vitamin D cause women to put on the pounds. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Researchers believe that there may be a relationship between weight gain and vitamin D intake. Based on a study, older women had a higher starting weight than women whose vitamin D levels were determined sufficient—"148.6 pounds, versus 141.6 pounds." The conclusion of the study is that the women with insufficient levels of vitamin D had gained a couple of pounds more than the women with higher levels of vitamin D. Yet, researchers caution to "talk to a doctor before considering ways to increase vitamin D intake, like via a supplement since everyone has different health concerns." The link is not proof that lack of vitamin D is the actual cause of weight gain. 

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