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Vitamin D deficiency: Increasing your risk of obesity years later?

Posted on: June 6, 2013   by  Vitamin D Council


A new study published in the European Journal of Nutrition reports that vitamin D deficiency may increase your chances of becoming obese years later.

The study looked at 1,226 people enrolled into the Pizarra study, a cohort established in 1996. The participants were then followed over the next 12 years, with three evaluations spanning across the 12 years. Initial evaluations took place between 1996-98, second evaluations took place between 2002-04, and final evaluations took place in 2005-07.

What the researchers found is that those who had low vitamin D levels in the second evaluation were much more likely to become obese on the final evaluation compared to those with higher vitamin D levels. Specially, those with levels lower than 17 ng/ml had a 2.35 times higher risk of becoming obese than those with levels over 17 ng/ml.

Obesity is a known risk factor for vitamin D deficiency because the more you weigh the more vitamin D you need. This makes understanding the exact relationship between obesity and vitamin D difficult to study and understand. Researchers are trying to find out if vitamin D makes you more susceptible to becoming obese, or if obesity just makes you deficient or a combination of both.

The advantage of this present study is that the researchers had the benefit to see vitamin D levels at a baseline evaluation, and then assess whether people with various vitamin D levels gained weight, lost weight or stayed the same. They were able to hone in on the question, does vitamin D make you more susceptible to becoming obese?

The researchers concluded, “The results of the present study suggest that lower 25(OH)D values in obese subjects may not have been secondary to obesity, but may in fact precede obesity.”


Molero IG et al. Hypovitaminosis D and incidence of obesity; a prospective study. Eur J of Clin Nutr, 2013

5 Responses to Vitamin D deficiency: Increasing your risk of obesity years later?

  1. Rita and Misty

    I can recount two weight loss stories to you:

    1. Upon correcting my 25(OH)D level, I effortlessly dropped 30 lbs in 6 weeks.

    2. A dear friend of mine was 75 lbs over weight in January of this year. Her 25(OH)D level at the time was 39 ng/ml. After supplementing for 6 weeks with 10,000 iu d3 daily, she dropped 50 lbs (effortlessly).

    BTW–I adore this picture…if only we had the ability to foresee our futures…although I predict some of us are way better at this than others….

    Be well,

  2. Magic


    That’s just great. Such a large percentage of the population wants and needs to lose weight you certainly can get people’s attention.

    People my age, almost 80, can really benefit from D3 where it shows and may be life saving. I have found that a large proportion of these people are “afraid” of the computer..They say that it holds nothing for them.

    One way to get to them is through their kids..Your age types Rita. I know my step dad in his 70s used to say “it’s hell to grow old.” On the other hand, I am having fun.

    I have no pain……….Although my hands started to really hurt when I took a doctors advice and stopped D3 for a few days.

    Last night’s 60 Minutes tv program showing doctors on a quota system to send patients to the hospital is IMO only a small part of the problem.

    Keep up the good work.


  3. Rita and Misty

    Hey there, Magic…

    I replied to your comment last night regarding my FB account. If you are still interested, please find me on the VDC FB page and send me a friend request. I will gladly accept. For some reason, my comment is awaiting moderation.

    Regarding weight loss and vitamin d, perhaps it may stem from

    1. Improvement of thyroid function
    2. Control of insulin issues

    These are only my educated guesses, as I’m not a physician or a scientific researcher…

    Be well,

  4. yvonne

    I think I need to share this article with my local National Health Service Trust (in the UK) who have denied my consultant’s recommendation for a hip replacement because my BMI is over 30. What they have failed to take into consideration is that, four years ago, my VitD level was unmeasureable (the lowest measure being 12) and I was given injections of Ergocalciferol to remedy the deficiency.

    There’s little chance of shedding any excess weight when I find it so difficult to walk.

  5. Rita and Misty

    (I truly love this bejeweled puppy looking in the mirror)

    And so I share the following quote with all of you (courtesy of Shiela Hinckley):

    “.. if you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror!” -shane koyczan, To This Day

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