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Study Shows People With Higher Levels Of Belly Fat Could Suffer From Vitamin D Deficiency

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A new study suggests that people who are overweight, and carry most of their excess weight in their stomach are at risk of vitamin D deficiency. The study was conducted by Rachida Rafiq and her team of researchers from VU University Medical Center and Leiden University Medical Center, both located in the Netherlands.

Rafiq and her team discovered a link between obesity and Vitamin D during their study and suggested that individuals who have high levels of belly fat should get their vitamin D levels checked immediately to prevent health issues.

Vitamin D And Obesity

Vitamin D is very important in regards to human health. It plays many crucial roles including maintaining healthy teeth and bones, supporting lung function, and maintaining the health of the immune system. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can include dizziness, hair loss, and muscle pain. If prolonged, it can lead to obesity.

Rafiq, who is a doctoral student, and her team studied the findings from an experiment conducted by the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity and examined how body fat and abnormal body fat related to the participants' Vitamin D levels.

The men and women who participated in the experiment were from ages 45 to 65 years old. The researchers adjust several variables that could influence the obesity in a person, including alcohol intake, physical activity levels, ethnicity, and smoking. The team discovered that in obese men, lower vitamin D levels are linked to the fat in the liver and abdomen.

In obese women, both total and abdominal fat were associated with lower vitamin D levels, but abdominal fat had a greater impact.

What Is The Next Step?

Obesity is one of the common conditions in the United States that can lead to severe health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Rafiq commented that the next step in her research was to why this link between a deficiency in vitamin D and obesity exists and ways to tackle the on-going issue.

"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. However, this strong association may point to a possible role for vitamin D in abdominal fat storage and function," Rafiq stated.

The findings of this study were presented to the European Society of Endocrinology during their annual meeting.

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