Vitamin D3 has been in the news a lot over the last year as it is one of the best ways to protect yourself against COVID-19. It is an important nutrient for so many reasons including strong bones, immune function overall, cancer protection, longevity, energy, mood, mental clarity, blood sugar regulation, healthy blood pressure levels, vision and macular health and muscular strength. So getting your levels tested and being sure you are in the healthiest range is critical.
Something you may not be aware of is that Vitamin D levels tend to be lower in obese people in general and that obesity may inhibit vitamin D’s benefits. People with a healthy weight received a 38% reduced risk for metastatic cancer and death compared to 17% overall, suggesting your body weight may play a significant role in whether vitamin D supplementation will provide you with the anticancer benefits you expect.
Why would body weight have this effect? Vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble nutrient and the understanding is that when you are obese, the vitamin D is “volumetrically diluted.” This is the explanation for that from a paper published in 2017:
“Serum vitamin D is lower in obese people; it is important to understand the mechanism of this effect and whether it indicates clinically significant deficiency … Vitamin D is fat soluble, and distributed into fat, muscle, liver, and serum.
All of these compartments are increased in volume in obesity, so the lower vitamin D likely reflects a volumetric dilution effect and whole body stores of vitamin D may be adequate … Obese people need higher loading doses of vitamin D to achieve the same serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D as normal weight.”
Another study found that for every 10% increase in body-mass index, there’s a 4.2% reduction in blood levels of vitamin D, leading the authors of that particular study to conclude that obesity may in fact be a causal factor in the development of vitamin D deficiency. It does make sense that there is a connection since both obesity rates and vitamin D deficiency have both increased.
So if you are overweight or obese, definitely have your levels checked and it may require you to increase the dosage you take while you are working to get to a healthier weight. Yet another reason to take steps now to get to your healthiest weight.
Does the obesity-vitamin D connection surprise you at all?
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