In a report published in the Journal of Women's Health, a team of scientists including researchers from Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research have established a link between low vitamin D levels and weight gain in older women.
Dr. Erin S. LeBlanc and her colleagues designed a study to determine if vitamin D levels was associated with weight gain in older postmenopausal women. To find the answer they recruited 4659 women age 65 years and older whom were participating in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF) and followed them for four and a half years.
During that time, the researchers learned that participants with low vitamin D levels tended to gain 2 pounds of body weight compared to women with normal vitamin D levels. Even worse, women with low vitamin D levels gained 18.5 pounds over the course of five years. By contrast, women with normal levels of vitamin D gained 16.4 pounds during the same period of time.
The results suggest that vitamin D is somehow involved in accumulation of body fat. In support of this hypothesis, LeBlanc and her colleagues pointed to other studies which found vitamin D was associated with fat accumulation.
If anything, the results of the SOF serve as a reminder of the need to for elderly persons to maintain healthy viatmin D levels.
In fact, LeBlanc surmised that reduced sun exposure along with resultant low vitamin D deficiency could lead to an overweight and obese population. Put another way, as society spends more time indoors, older women have less exposure to sunlight which in turn causes them to gain weight.
This is important because aside from diet, sunlight is one of the greatest natural sources of vitamin D.
"Our data support the need for improved understanding of how 25(OH)D is associated with body weight in older women, especially given that 25(OH)D repletion is easy, well-tolerated, and inexpensive." said the Kaiser Permanente researcher.
Nonetheless, LeBlanc's study is limited by the fact it focused on post menopausal white females thus making it difficult to extrapolate to the population at large. As a result the researches said:" Future studies to further evaluate the impact of 25(OH)D status on long term weight change in other populations, such as younger women and men and and those with comorbidities, are important next steps."
In summary, based on the results of a new scientific study, researchers report that low levels of vitamin D lead to weight gain in older women but more studies are needed before these results can be proven to hold true for the general population.
The LORD filled me with misery; he made me drunk with suffering. He broke my teeth with gravel and trampled me into the dirt. I have no more peace. I have forgotten what happiness is. I said, "My strength is gone, and I have no hope in the LORD Lamentations 3: 15 - 18
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Leblanc ES, Rizzo JH, Pedula KL, Ensrud KE, Cauley J, Hochberg M, & Hillier For The Study Of Osteoporotic Fractures TA (2012). Associations Between 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Weight Gain in Elderly Women. Journal of women's health (2002) PMID: 22731629
"Low Vitamin D Is Linked To Weight Gain" copyright © 2012 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.