Research reveals belly fat’s unexpected role in vitamin D deficiency

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

belly-fat(NaturalHealth365)  Recent studies reveal a startling link between waistline measurements and healthcare costs.  For every inch of excess abdominal fat, annual medical expenses increase by 5% for men and 3% for women.  A Danish study highlights that women with waistlines over 37 inches face substantially higher healthcare costs than their counterparts with ideal measurements.  This trend applies to men as well.  What many don’t realize is that excess belly fat often signals vitamin D deficiency – a fact overlooked by many healthcare providers.  This oversight can have significant financial and health implications.

The risks extend beyond costs.  Excess abdominal fat is a serious health concern, potentially fueling cancer cell growth.  Fat tissue produces leptin and adiponectin, hormones that may compromise cancer treatment efficacy and contribute to higher mortality rates.  Understanding these connections is crucial for making informed health decisions.  Armed with this knowledge, you can take proactive steps to improve your health and potentially reduce long-term healthcare costs.

Research shows that low vitamin D levels are linked to unwanted belly fat

While it’s widely known that vitamin D deficiency negatively impacts bone health and increases risks of obesity, cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, recent research reveals a surprising correlation: the larger your waistline, the higher the likelihood of low vitamin D levels.

A study published in Nutrients uncovered a significant relationship between low vitamin D levels and adipose tissue.  Specifically, the research demonstrated a strong correlation between follow-up vitamin D levels and visceral adipose tissue (belly fat), as well as waist and hip circumferences.  These findings suggest that belly fat may play a crucial role in storing and sequestering vitamin D, thereby affecting its availability in the body.

Importantly, the study highlights a bidirectional relationship:

  1. Higher amounts of visceral fat are associated with lower vitamin D levels.
  2. Low vitamin D levels may contribute to increased fat storage.

This creates a potential cycle where excess body fat can lower vitamin D levels, and conversely, low vitamin D can promote fat accumulation.

Further supporting these findings, researchers from Leiden University Medical Center and VU University Medical Center examined total body fat and abdominal fat in previous study participants.  After controlling for factors such as exercise levels, alcohol consumption, and chronic diseases, they observed that both abdominal and total fat were linked to low vitamin D levels in women.  Notably, this association extended to men as well, with low vitamin D levels correlating with increased liver and abdominal fat.

Action step: Time to up your vitamin D levels

You might be surprised to learn that a whopping 1 billion people are vitamin D deficient worldwide.  Most holistic healthcare providers say the first step is to get tested.

It’s simple and inexpensive to know your vitamin D levels (with a blood test).  If you are below 30 ng/ml – which many people are – you may want to consider supplementation to raise your levels.  While Western medicine considers 30 ng/ml adequate, holistic healthcare providers recommend aiming for much higher levels, around 60-80 ng/ml, for optimal health.

Obviously, the best way to increase your vitamin D levels is with about 20 minutes of full body exposure to the sun.  The problem is that most people live at elevated latitudes – above 30 degrees from the equator.  This higher latitude makes the angle of the sun weaker and, very often, as a result, doesn’t offer enough ‘direct’ sunlight to generate the desired outcome.

That’s why so many holistic healthcare providers recommend a supplement to increase vitamin D levels in the body.

Another important point:  According to a Harvard Medical School report, sunscreen causes a drop in vitamin D levels because of how it blocks UV light.  Leaving some areas exposed is recommended, as this will ensure that you get the most out of the vitamin D supplement and natural sunlight combination.

Bottom line: if you suspect that your vitamin D levels are low – get tested today and talk to your doctor about a plan of action that gets results.

Sources for this article include:

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments