Belly Fat Linked To Vitamin D Deficiency
By Emilyn Gil
Getting rid of body fat is a common goal for many people all over the world. Those six pack abs are constantly on our minds, especially when its so hard in today’s society to be active and maintain a healthy diet.Every time we sit down for a meal, we remember the extra few pounds lingering around our middle.
If you’re one of the many trying to drop a few pounds, keeping track of your vitamin D intake may be more helpful along your journey than you may have thought.
What is Vitamin D?
It can be hard to differentiate one vitamin from another, but vitamin D definitely has its own unique qualities to set it apart from the others.
For starters, it is generally known as the “sunshine vitamin” because your best bet for obtaining this vitamin is to sit out in the sun on a bright day. That’s right! When ultraviolet rays from the sunlight hit your skin they trigger your body to produce vitamin D.
Some foods such as fish, cheese, and eggs also contain a natural source of vitamin D, but the amount is quite small compared to what you can receive just from spending some time in the sunshine. (1)
Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut and is extremely important for bone growth. It can also help modulate cell growth, neuromuscular function, immune function, and inflammation reduction. (2)
How Vitamin D Deficiency Relates To Belly Fat
A vitamin D deficiency has many negative affects. The most common danger is a weakening of the bones, which can lead to osteoporosis. There are other risks which are heightened as well in those who are vitamin D deficient such as cancer, heart disease, hypertension, depression, influenza, cognitive impairment, and obesity.
Recently, researchers are putting more focus on vitamin D deficiency, who is at risk for having a deficiency, and how to prevent it. It was previously found that those who are obese will need a larger daily intake of vitamin D in order to achieve the same results as those of normal weight. Rachida Rafiq and her team of researchers decided to dig deeper into this relationship between vitamin D and obesity. (3)
Rafiq used information from the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity study, which linked higher levels of abdominal fat to low vitamin D levels among obese men and women. The team placed a focus on total fat, belly fat underneath the skin (abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue), fat around the organs (visceral adipose tissue), and fat in the liver (hepatic fat).
Rafiq’s team discovered that total fat, especially abdominal fat, were associated with low levels of vitamin D in women. While in men, there was a stronger association between liver and abdominal fat with low levels of vitamin D. Across the board however, there was an outstanding link between belly fat and vitamin D deficiency.
Although more study and research is needed to determine whether low vitamin D causes an increase in belly fat, or excess belly fat triggers a drop in vitamin D levels, the relationship between the two is certain. (4)
A Daily Dose Of Sunshine
The bottom line is, getting more sunshine can do wonders for your figure. You may be surprised to hear that 40% of the United States population and 50% of everyone worldwide is deficient in vitamin D! So don’t let a day go without spending a good amount of time outside in the sun, soaking up this important vitamin! (5, 3)
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