Friday, May 27, 2011

A Little Bit of Weight Loss Boosts Blood Vitamin D Levels

Even though we think of orange juice, packed with vitamin C, as a 'tall glass of sunshine', vitamin D holds the crown as the true sunshine vitamin. Aside from the small amount we can get from our diets, we need to expose our skin to the sun in order to make the active form of vitamin D in our bodies.

As new research regularly comes out showing that vitamin D is a key player in preventing just about every disease or health condition you could think of, from the common cold to cancer, we absolutely need to make sure we're getting enough. The scary part is that people in many parts of the world, including Canada, simply can't make enough vitamin D for 6 months of the year due to the position of the sun in combination with us covering every inch of skin imaginable at times. Even sunscreen blocks our ability to make vitamin D. There are several things you can do to make sure you're getting enough vitamin D in your diet, but new research has now found that weight loss in fact boosts our bodies' ability to make and use vitamin D.

In the study, overweight to obese women who were sedentary were assigned to one of four conditions - exercise only, diet only, exercise and diet or no change. It turned out that any way they were able to lose weight was beneficial for boosting their blood vitamin D levels.

Women who lost 5-10% of their body weight had small increases in their blood vitamin D levels, while those who lost 15% or more had nearly 3 times the amount of vitamin D in their blood regardless of their dietary intakes.

According to the study's lead author, "Since vitamin D is generally lower in persons with obesity, it is possible that low vitamin D could account, in part, for the link between obesity and diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes," and "Determining whether weight loss helps change vitamin D status is important for understanding potential avenues for disease prevention." Very interesting! Just like vitamin D is important in nearly all facets of health, overweight and obesity are linked to many if not most illnesses and diseases. This may give some people the push they need to lose those last 10 or more pounds and really get healthy!