Do vitamin D and BMI share a relationship? To answer this question, we first need to define body mass index (BMI) in terms of obesity. A BMI of more than 30 in adults is generally classified as obese. It is therefore clear that lowering one’s body mass index is one of the best ways to lose weight and to lead a healthier lifestyle.
While common suggestions such as adopting a balanced diet and obtaining plenty of exercise are extremely effective, what about the role of specific nutrients? To narrow this question down even further, might a link exist between vitamin D consumption and a high BMI? Let’s examine this interesting question in more detail.
What is the Role of vitamin D?
Vitamin D is considered to be an essential nutrient. In other words, we would eventually die without its presence. This substance also plays several important roles, including:
- Enabling the body to absorb phosphorous and calcium.
- Inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells.
- Controlling infections.
- Reducing inflammation.
- Supporting bone health.
The good news is that many tasty foods are high in vitamin D. Common examples include fortified orange juice, salmon, beef liver, egg yolks, and tuna. It is also possible to obtain vitamin D from supplements such as cod liver oil and omega-3 fatty acid capsules.
Sunlight also causes the body to produce vitamin D naturally. The only issue is that many individuals still do not receive the recommended amount of 15 micrograms (600 IU) per day.
What are the Signals of a vitamin D Deficiency?
What symptoms might indicate that you are not receiving adequate amounts of vitamin D? While the signs tend to develop over months and even years as opposed to days or weeks, there are still several indications, including:
- Chronic fatigue.
- Broken sleep patterns.
- Hair loss.
- Poor appetite.
- Weakness in the muscles.
- Becoming sick more often than in the past.
One issue is that these very same symptoms can regularly indicate other illnesses. This is why it is always important to seek the advice of a trained professional in order to obtain a targeted diagnosis.
The Tentative Relationship Between vitamin D and BMI Levels
We now come to the crux of this article. Might those who are deficient in vitamin D be at a higher risk of gaining weight? Studies seem to agree with this assessment. In fact, recent research indicates that vitamin D deficiencies are present in up to 35 percent of individuals who are already diagnosed as obese. Why is this the case?
Certain studies indicate that there may be a relationship between vitamin D levels and how abdominal fat is burned during periods of activity. Some likewise feel that individuals who do not consume foods containing vitamin D are more likely to develop visceral fat (fat stored within the abdominal cavity as opposed to immediately below the surface of the skin).
It may also be possible to draw conclusions based on the symptoms mentioned earlier. For example, those who are deficient in vitamin D will be less likely to exercise on a regular basis. This obviously increases their chances of becoming obese over time.
The Difference Between Correlation and Causation
It is rather clear that a link seems to exist between levels of vitamin D and a higher BMI; at least in a sizeable portion of the adult population. We should still stress that simply correlating two conditions does not necessarily signify that one causes the other. In simpler terms, more research needs to be carried out.
Starting Off from a Strong Dietary Foundation
Are you currently concerned about your body mass index? If so, make certain that you are receiving plenty of vitamin D. This can come in the form of supplementation if you’re unwilling or unable to consume the foods outlined earlier. Furthermore, make it a point to embrace other healthy lifestyle habits.
Yet another practical approach involves the use of the Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloon. As this accessory limits the amount of calories that you consume at any given time, it represents a powerful way to control your obesity and, ultimately, to lower your BMI.
Thanks to ongoing research, there is little doubt that the link between vitamin D and BMI will become even more clear in the not-so-distant future.