February 05, 2013

Obesity causes drop in vitamin D levels

Man eating salad in the officeBeing obese lowers levels of vitamin D in the blood, shows a study published today by scientists we fund.

Vitamin D is involved in important processes in the body. But researchers from UK universities, led by a team at University College London, have discovered that being obese can lower levels of the vitamin.

The scientists looked in a large group of people to work out if obesity actually causes vitamin D levels to drop. They found that it did.

Our Research Advisor Dr Shannon Amoils said: “We already know that people with a higher body mass index have lower levels of vitamin D – and this research now shows that being obese can lead to these lower levels.

“The study gives us all another good reason to eat healthily and keep off the extra pounds. As well as lowering your risk of heart disease, people who are a healthy weight are more likely to have higher levels of this important vitamin, which is needed to keep your bones healthy.”

The research was published in journal PLoS Medicine.