People who are focused on staying healthy probably know about the potential benefits of vitamin D and the importance of maintaining sufficient levels of this nutrient in the body. While it is well-known that vitamin D is associated with bone health, many individuals may be unaware of the other ways this vitamin may help keep people healthy. For example, researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon recently found a possible connection between vitamin D and weight management.
The scientists noticed that older women who had insufficient vitamin D levels were more likely to gain weight than those who had the recommended amount of this nutrient in their systems. This suggest that people who maintain their vitamin D levels may have an easier time managing their weight as well.
According to the researchers, although the weight gain difference was only about two or three pounds, this can really add up over the years. Excess weight can cause a number of health problems in the elderly.
"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 [affecting people's weight]," study author Erin LeBlanc, M.D., an endocrinologist and researcher.
While it's true that most people get vitamin D from sun exposure, there are other ways to absorb this nutrient. Individuals need to be careful about how much time they spend in the sun, which is why people should consume fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, drink fortified milk and orange juice and talk to their healthcare provider about whether they should take vitamin D supplements.