Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Weight Gain in Older Women

It seems Vitamin D stars in a new study each week, and in recent studies, it has been linked to bone health, lifespan and cognitive ability.

But Vitamin D has also been buzzed about when it comes to obesity, and levels of Vitamin D have been suspect when it comes to weight that won’t budge.

While some say low Vitamin D levels are plaguing a number of Americans, last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that for the most part, Vitamin D levels in the population are adequate. And a study published yesterday indicates that in latter cases, when Vitamin D levels are low, weight gain can result.

Researchers at Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Oregon looked at more than 4,500 women older than the age of 65, all of whom had gained weight over a period of nearly five years. In the participants who had lost weight or maintained a steady weight, Vitamin D levels did not seem to impact their overall BMI.

But 571 women in the study increased their body weight by 5% or more during its course, and researchers say that low Vitamin D levels did seem to impact their weight fluctuations.

vitamin d supplement

Even still, researchers aren’t ready to recommend Vitamin D supplements across the board, as Kaiser Permanante endocrinologist Erin LeBlanc explains:

“We would need to do more studies before recommending the supplements to keep people from gaining weight… Since there are so many conflicting recommendations about taking vitamin D for any reason, it’s best if patients get advice from their own healthcare provider.”

The Vitamin D findings were published in the online edition of Journal of Women’s Health.