Clear association between obesity and vitamin D deficiency

Jun 10, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- A study conducted at Uppsala University has demonstrated that obese people often suffer from serious vitamin D deficiency and poor calcium metabolism. The findings have been published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. According to the researchers, the problem is underappreciated by the health care establishment.

Although several previous studies support a connection between obesity, poor calcium metabolism and vitamin D deficiency, the new study makes the point with much greater clarity. The study comprised a total of 108 obese subjects (76 women, 32 men), 70.4 per cent of whom suffered from vitamin D deficiency, which can lead to , among other conditions. A conclusion is that obese people ought to take vitamin supplements.

“Vitamin D deficiency is not corrected by and may in fact become exacerbated following treatment of obesity by means of gastric by-pass surgery,” says Per Hellman, Professor of Surgery at Uppsala University and a senior physician at Uppsala University Hospital, who, together with Hella Hultin, a physician and doctoral student, carried out the study. “Unfortunately, this fact is underappreciated. Vitamin D supplements are important even in the aftermath of such surgery.”

The scope of the study extended beyond the issue of vitamin deficiency to encompass the body’s entire calcium regulation system. The findings support earlier assumptions that obese people are frequently characterised by poor calcium metabolism, and that this impacts parathyroid function in a way that was not previously known. The specific mechanism that results in has not been determined, but the researchers hold it to be probable that obesity causes the vitamin deficiency and not vice versa. A number of hypotheses have been proposed. Vitamin-D, which is fat-soluble, may be taken up by fat tissue and thereby rendered unavailable for bodily processes. There may even be a link to inadequate exposure to sunlight, given that obese people tend to spend less time outdoors. The researchers assert the importance of adequate follow-up in connection with treatment of obese patients, especially in view of the osteoporosis risk.

“Patients at the Uppsala University Hospital unit now receive significant supplementation,” says Per Hellman. “Increased awareness of the issues involved is necessary at the primary-care level. Today, many patients receive too little post-surgical follow-up care.”

The study is the first in a series that will be published in a variety of journals.

Explore further: With kids in school, parents can work out

More information: Link to the article - jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/cont… tract/jc.2009-2822v1

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Vitamin D tied to muscle power in adolescent girls

Feb 03, 2009

Vitamin D is significantly associated with muscle power and force in adolescent girls, according to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

New vitamin D recommendations for older men and women

May 10, 2010

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) has released a new position statement on Vitamin D for older adults which makes important recommendations for vitamin D nutrition from an evidence-based perspective.

Recommended for you

With kids in school, parents can work out

22 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Back-to-school time provides an opportunity for parents to develop an exercise plan that fits into the family schedules, an expert suggests.

Obama offers new accommodations on birth control

Aug 22, 2014

The Obama administration will offer a new accommodation to religious nonprofits that object to covering birth control for their employees. The measure allows those groups to notify the government, rather than their insurance ...

Use a rule of thumb to control how much you drink

Aug 22, 2014

Sticking to a general rule of pouring just a half glass of wine limits the likelihood of overconsumption, even for men with a higher body mass index. That's the finding of a new Iowa State and Cornell University ...

User comments : 0