Previous studies have demonstrated an increased risk for heart disease with inadequate vitamin D levels. (See Jan 2009 post of this blog site – Latest Buzz on Vitamin D) A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism now suggests that increased body fat is also related to low vitamin D levels. This study evaluated ninety women 16 to 22 years old. Women with low vitamin D levels had more body fat (both deep abdominal fat and subcutaneous or superficial fat) than women with normal vitamin D levels. The researchers were not able to determine if low vitamin D levels lead to increased body fat or if increased body fat lead to low vitamin D levels. Further studies are needed to evaluate this association further.
The American Heart Association recommends getting Vitamin D from food sources (milk, salmon, mackerel, sardines, fortified cereals) rather than taking supplements. Most people should consume between 800 and 1,000 IU of Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) daily.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (November 2008)