(NaturalNews) A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition indicates that overweight and obese individuals might benefit from testing their vitamin D levels. Low levels of this vitamin may indicate health issues and might be linked to heart disease, diabetes, and even some kinds of cancer. Maintaining optimum vitamin D levels can be crucial for decreasing health risks.
Researchers in Oslo, Norway measured vitamin D blood levels in nearly 1,800 people who were being treated for problems related to weight. Individuals who weighed the most had the lowest levels of vitamin D in their blood. The researchers also determined that levels of vitamin D decrease in winter months for everyone but more dramatically for heavier individuals.
There are many possible reasons for this lack of vitamin D in the overweight and the obese. Many such individuals are on restricted diets, thereby reducing or even eliminating many of the foods that naturally contain vitamin D. Sunlight is another source of vitamin D, which could explain the lower vitamin D levels in test subjects during winter months. But less exposure to the sun does not explain why those with weight problems lose vitamin D at other times of the year.
The question remains: do people gain weight because vitamin D levels are too low, or does being overweight cause a person's vitamin D levels to decrease? Other studies are being conducted to determine exactly how and why overweight and obese individuals are losing so much vitamin D.
In the meantime, it is known that vitamin D is important in lowering the risk of heart disease, hypertension, and strokes. This vitamin is also necessary to strengthen bones and fight infections, including many forms of cancer, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases. Some experts speculate that it would even be beneficial in assisting weight loss goals. Many physicians are coming around to the idea that most people need far more vitamin D than they are getting.
However, individuals who are interested in increasing their vitamin D consumption for health or weight reasons should consult their physicians before taking supplements. It is important to know the correct dosage of this valuable vitamin, especially if weight is a factor in illnesses or conditions.
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more: www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2009/10/welco...