A new study found that excess belly fat may be a red flag that you are vitamin D deficient.
The fat-soluble vitamin can protect the heart and reduce the risk of diabetes and cancer. Low levels of vitamin D, on the other hand, can lead to brittle bones, lower calcium absorption, and hair loss.
Many respiratory tract infections and immune response issues have been traced back to vitamin D.
- In the U.S., around 40% of the population is affected by vitamin D deficiency.
- In the world, 1 billion people are affected by the condition.
- Experts think that we are affected by an “ignored epidemic.”
Researchers at VU University Medical Center in the Netherlands found that there is a link between low levels of vitamin D and high levels of belly fat. Past studies have found an association between vitamin D and obesity.
Lead author Rachida Rafiq and her fellow researchers dug deeper into the association. Researchers sifted through the health data on thousands of Dutch adults aged 45–65. The team zoomed in on the fat in the liver, around the organs, and the belly fat.
The findings were adjusted for other risk factors like smoking, alcohol abuse, chronic disease, ethnicity, sex, age, and activity levels.
In women, researchers found a link between belly fat and vitamin D deficiency. In men, vitamin D deficiency was tied to belly fat as well and fat in the liver. In both men and women, more belly fat meant lower levels of the sunshine vitamin aka vitamin D.
Rafiq recommends people with larger waistlines to have their vitamin D levels tested as they are at a higher risk of deficiency. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the belly fat caused lower levels of vitamin D or whether vitamin D deficiency caused abdominal fat to build up.
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