Weight loss increases Vitamin D in obese women

May 26th, 2011 - 1:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, May 26 (IANS) Ladies, if you hit the gym, you may become less vulnerable to dangerous diseases like cancer. Poor Vitamin D levels, a cause for some diseases, rises in women who lose their weight.

Obese women with less-than-optimal levels of Vitamin D who lose more than 15 percent of their body weight experience significant increases in circulating levels of this nutrient, a study claims.

“Since Vitamin D is generally lower in persons with obesity, it is possible that low vitamin D could account, in part, for the link between obesity and diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes,” said Caitlin Mason, who led the study at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre.

“Determining whether weight loss helps change vitamin D status is important for understanding potential avenues for disease prevention,” said Mason, postdoctoral research fellow at the Hutchinson Centre, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports.

Vitamin D is known to play many important roles. It promotes calcium absorption and is needed for bone growth and bone healing. Along with calcium, vitamin D helps protect older adults from osteoporosis, according to a Fred Hutchinson statement.

The nutrient also influences cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and reduces inflammation. Many gene-encoding proteins that regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis (programmed cell death) are modulated in part by the vitamin.

The year-long study - one of the largest ever conducted to assess the effect of weight loss on Vitamin D - involved 439 overweight-to-obese, sedentary, postmenopausal Seattle-area women, aged 50 to 75, who were randomly assigned to one of four groups: exercise only, diet only, exercise plus diet and no intervention.

Those who lost five percent to 10 percent of their body weight - equivalent to approximately 10 to 20 pounds for most of the women in the study - through diet and/or exercise saw a relatively small increase in blood levels of Vitamin D.

Women who lost more than 15 percent of their weight experienced a nearly threefold increase in Vitamin D, independent of dietary intake of the nutrient.

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