- Obese and overweight people who have excess fat gathered around their waist are at risk of vitamin D deficiency, a new study found.
- The result of this study only emphasizes yet another risk obesity can do to damage our health.
- Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with poor bone health, increased risk for respiratory infection, autoimmune disorders and heart disease, according to HealthDay News.
Vitamin D, referred by some as the “sunlight vitamin” because it is produced in the skin when exposed to sunlight. It is important to our bone health because of its ability to help the body utilize calcium in our body.
Lower levels of Vitamin D have been linked to bigger waistlines, according to a team of researchers. The team analyzed data gathered by the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity.
“The strong relationship between increasing amounts of abdominal fats and lower levels of vitamin D suggests that individuals with larger waistlines are at a greater risk of developing a deficiency, and should consider having their vitamin D levels checked,” said study author Rachida Rafiq.
A doctoral student at VU University Medical Center and Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands, Rafiq, together with her team, will present the findings in Barcelona, Spain, at a meeting of the European Society of Endocrinology this week.
Higher levels of total overall fat were associated with lower vitamin D levels among obese men, but not for obese women.
Among obese women, though, higher amounts of liver fat were associated with low vitamin D levels. That link was not seen among obese men.
However, the study wasn’t able to determine whether low vitamin D causes people to store abdominal fat or whether excess belly fat somehow triggers vitamin D levels to drop, according to Rafiq. The researchers said further study is required
“Due to the observational nature of this study, we cannot draw a conclusion on the direction or cause of the association between obesity and vitamin D levels,” Rafiq said in a news release. “However, this strong association may point to a possible role for vitamin D in abdominal fat storage and function.”
Since the study has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal yet, it is considered preliminary.