Weight-Loss Boosts Vitamin D

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The fat-soluble vitamin D has been springing up in headlines quite often lately. Recent research has linked vitamin D deficiencies to everything from pneumonia and anemia to multiple sclerosis and blood pressure. And now there’s a new study to add to the list-according to researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, obese women who lost 15 percent of their body weight experienced a boost in vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for calcium absorption and strengthening bones, as well as for its role in cell growth and immune function.

The study consisted of a group of 439 women, ages 50 to 75, described as ranging from overweight to obese. These women were randomly placed into one of four groups. One group was instructed to only exercise, another to only diet, a third to combine both exercise and diet into their lives and a fourth control group maintained their sedentary lifestyle. At the end of the year-long study, women who lost five to 10 percent of their body weight through diet and/or exercise experienced minimal increases in vitamin D levels, whereas women who shed more than 15 percent of their body weight saw vitamin D levels triple.

The center plans to continue conducting vitamin D-related studies, including one to determine the relationship between vitamin D, weight-loss and breast cancer risk factors.

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