You probably already know how important vitamin D is to our health. A deficiency can lead to everything from respiratory infections and bone loss to cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, and cancer. Keeping your vitamin D levels up can have a big impact on your health. But how do you know if you’re deficient?
New research suggests that simply looking in the mirror may provide a clue.
No, you won’t be checking to see if you have a tan. While sun exposure can increase your D levels, this isn’t the safest method. Instead, you need to check to see if your waistline has been expanding. New research out of the Netherlands has linked abdominal fat to low vitamin D levels.
The researchers knew that previous studies have linked vitamin D deficiency and obesity in general. But they weren’t sure if a particular type of fat was involved. So they looked at data from the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity study to see if there were any connections.
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The researchers measured the participants’ total body fat, abdominal fat, and vitamin D levels. They also adjusted for chronic disease, alcohol consumption, and physical activity levels. For women, they found a link to low vitamin D with both total body fat and abdominal fat. Men also needed to be concerned about liver fat. But for both groups, the higher the abdominal fat, the lower the vitamin D levels.
The researchers aren’t sure yet why this connection exists. It could be that having low vitamin D makes the body more likely to store fat in the abdomen. Or it could be that abdominal fat uses up vitamin D at a faster rate. But regardless of the cause, this study gives us some helpful action items for our health.
If you’re carrying some excess fat around your waist, you should have your vitamin D levels checked. If they’re low, it’s easy to correct this problem with a supplement. I recommend Advanced Bionutritionals Vitamin D3. This product is naturally sourced from lanolin and provides 5,000 IU of the vitamin per tablet.
The next step is a little more challenging. You should work on decreasing the amount of fat you’re carrying around your waist. I’ve written quite a bit about healthy diet and exercise habits that can help you do this. It’s not as easy as taking a daily supplement. But it will make a big difference for your health.
Better Health and Living for Women,