Recent research has revealed an interesting connection between your weight and how well your body absorbs vitamin D. This essential micronutrient helps the body to make healthy bones and teeth, but some people may not be getting enough of it due to their weight.
For the study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, researchers recruited over 700 participants who were overweight or obese and between the ages of 20-74. The participants' blood levels of vitamin D were measured before and after being given a single dose of 50,000 IU (international units) oral vitamin D3 supplement.
The results showed that those with higher body mass index (BMI) had lower serum levels of vitamin D after taking the supplement than those with lower BMI. This suggests that at least for this group, their weight might be impacting how much vitamin D they can absorb from supplements and dietary sources.
The researchers believe that this could be due to fat tissue trapping vitamin D before it can enter into the bloodstream. Other studies have also found that individuals with higher amounts of body fat are more likely to have lower levels of circulating vitamin D than those with lower amounts of fat.
The Importance of Vitamin D
This is concerning because getting enough vitamin D is important for many reasons, including maintaining strong bones and teeth, regulating moods and helping with immunity. If a person’s ability to absorb it is affected by their weight then they could be at greater risk for developing certain health conditions related to a lack of this nutrient.
What You Can Do
Fortunately there are things you can do if you think you might not be absorbing enough vitamin D due to your weight. One option is to talk to your doctor about having your blood tested for levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D—this test will tell you if you have enough in your system or not and if supplementation is necessary.
Additionally, eating foods that are high in this nutrient such as fatty fish like salmon or mackerel or fortified milk products like yogurt can help increase your intake too. Spending time in the sun (with sunscreen on!) may also help as our skin produces its own natural version when exposed to ultraviolet rays but take care not to overexpose yourself as too much sunlight can lead to skin cancer.
Overall while more research is needed on this topic it’s clear from these findings that our weight may influence how well we absorb vitamin D from food sources and supplements so it’s important for people who are overweight or obese to eat healthy foods rich in this nutrient and consider speaking with their doctor about testing their levels if necessary.