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Insufficient Vitamin D Levels Associated with Weight Gain in Older Women

Insufficient Vitamin D Levels Associated with Weight Gain in Older Women

(epharmanews) - Older women who lacked adequate levels of Vitamin D seemed to gain more weight than those with sufficient levels, suggests a new study published online in the Journal of Women’s health.

The study examined more than 4,600 women, ages 65 and older, and found that over a period of five years, participants with inadequate levels of Vitamin D gained about two pounds more than others who had sufficient levels of the vitamin in their blood.

Study author, Dr. Erin LeBlanc, an endocrinologist and researcher at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon, said: “This is one of the first studies to show that women with low levels of Vitamin D gain more weight, and although it was only two pounds, over time that can add up,”

“Nearly 80 percent of women in our study had insufficient levels of Vitamin D. A primary source of this important vitamin is sunlight, and as modern societies move indoors, continuous Vitamin D insufficiency may be contributing to chronic weight gain.” He added.

Experts have recently recommended that healthy menopausal women may need higher doses of Vitamin D to prevent fractures. However, there evidence is still lacking to recommend Vitamin D supplements for younger people. Other experts have also asserted the role of Vitamin D in keeping adults’ bones healthy.

“Our study only shows an association between insufficient levels of Vitamin D and weight gain, we would need to do more studies before recommending supplements to keep people from gaining weight,” LeBlanc said.

This study was conducted between older women most of which were not trying to lose any weight as Dr. LeBlanc pointed out. Nearly 60 percent of the 4,659 women who participated in the study managed to keep a stable weight over the study period, 4.5 years, while 27 percent lost more than 5 percent of their weight and only 12 percent gained more than 5 percent of their body weight.

Researchers found that out of the participants who gained weight, those who had insufficient levels of Vitamin Din their blood gained about 18.5 pounds (8.5 kg) compared to those who had normal levels of the vitamin in their blood who only gained about 16.4 (7.5 kg) over the same period.

“Since there are so many conflicting recommendations about taking Vitamin D for any reason, it’s best if patients get advice from their own health care provider.” LeBlanc concluded.

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Prepared by: Abdullatief Janat

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