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Alternative Health Blog

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Being Overweight

Vitamin D has generated serious starpower among nutrients in the last 12 to 18 months, called out as a more common and destructive deficiency in many Americans than long thought. The latest research links low vitamin D levels with being overweight. Chalk up another clue for the mystery of the global obesity epidemic.

In the new study, doctors at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles found only 37 of 90 young women had ample amounts of vitamin D in their bloodstreams, even though the volunteer subjects live in sunny southern California. The body manufactures its own vitamin D, predominantly by exposure to sunlight. This finding suggests vitamin D deficiency is “extremely common,” the L.A. researchers wrote.

What further distinguishes this study is that when vitamin D-deficient women were compared to the vitamin D-sufficient group, those lacking in the vitamin were 16 pounds heavier, on average, and scored more than three points higher on body mass index calculations.  The study will require follow-up work to confirm what appears to a strong association between low vitamin D count and more pounds on your frame.

A growing number of health practitioners have  argued that too many doctors are overlooking vitamin D checks for the blood, especially more sophisticated measures that might tell you an inside story about personal illness you will want to know. There are two basic vitamin D tests: One is 1,25 (OH) D and the other is 25 (OH)D, which is considered the better marker of overall D status.

Research has suggested vitamin D deficiency might be a root cause of cancers, autoimmune disorders, chronic pain, heart disease, depression and ADHD. That’s a long list and certainly enough to give pause about whether we all might be wearing too much sunscreen too much of the time.

Nobody is suggesting to burn your skin to a crisp, but there might be some logic to, all together now Fifth Dimension fans, let the sun shine in at least 15 minutes per day around noon time on the face and forearms. And getting your vitamin D checked would be a stellar idea, especially if you have any unexplained pain or fatigue.

The vitamin D question, once universally waved off by M.D.s as not an issue and basically impossible in the modern age, is gaining more serious attention to the answers these days. One example: The venerable American Medical Association lobbied the federal government to increase it recommended daily amount for general health up to 400 I.U. Plus, more Vitamin D studies are appearing in mainstream medical journals while doctors have allowed that it can be hard to become toxic if you double or triple that amount as part of a daily supplementation program.

Even so, be sure to seek out a health practitioner’s advice and partnership if you undertake a vitamin D upgrade in your life. Two heads—and some well-placed blood tests—might make a huge difference.

Bob Condor blogs for Alternative Health Journal every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 

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Contributor Profile

Contributor Since:
August 13, 2008
Bob Condor
Along with bringing the latest news and trends about alternative health, Bob will help you get the most of your Internet health research.  Bob is the Living Well Columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.He covers health and quality of life for the Hearst-owned newspaper and writes regularly for national magazines. He is a former syn...
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