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Animal study suggests maternal vitamin D deficiency may predispose offspring to obesity

Posted on: July 24, 2017   by  Missy Sturges & John Canell, MD


Over two thirds of the adult population are considered overweight or obese in the United States. Risk factors for obesity include genetics, sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits and other medical issues. Although genetic makeup influences one’s risk for becoming obese, environmental factors are believed to be the primary contributor to obesity.

Long term complications of obesity include hypertension, heart disease, stroke and mortality. These consequences have led researchers to continue investigating the possible modifiable risk factors associated with obesity in order to improve the health of the public.

There is much interest in the relationship between obesity and vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is stored as the parent compound, cholecalciferol, in the muscles and fat. However, in cases of obesity, vitamin D essentially becomes sequestered by fat cells leaving it unavailable for mobilization when needed. As a result, researchers have concluded that obese individuals may require more vitamin D than those with a healthy weight to maintain sufficient vitamin D levels. 

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