Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Low vitamin D levels linked to weight gain in some older women

Date:
June 25, 2012
Source:
Kaiser Permanente
Summary:
Older women with insufficient levels of Vitamin D gained more weight than those with sufficient levels of the vitamin, according to a new study. The study of more than 4,600 women ages 65 and older found that over nearly five years, those with insufficient levels of Vitamin D in their blood gained about two pounds more than those with adequate levels of the vitamin.

Older women with insufficient levels of vitamin D gained more weight than those with sufficient levels of the vitamin, according to a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health and published online June 25 in the Journal of Women's Health. The study of more than 4,600 women ages 65 and older found that over nearly five years, those with insufficient levels of vitamin D in their blood gained about two pounds more than those with adequate levels of the vitamin.

Related Articles


"This is one of the first studies to show that women with low levels of vitamin D gain more weight, and although it was only two pounds, over time that can add up," said study author Erin LeBlanc, MD, an endocrinologist and researcher at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore. "Nearly 80 percent of women in our study had insufficient levels of vitamin D. A primary source of this important vitamin is sunlight, and as modern societies move indoors, continuous vitamin D insufficiency may be contributing to chronic weight gain."

Vitamin D was in the news recently when a panel of primary care experts -- the US Preventive Services Task Force -- said healthy postmenopausal women may need higher doses of the vitamin to prevent fractures, and that there isn't enough evidence to recommend the supplements for younger people. Other expert groups, including the Endocrine Society, have a different take, saying many adults do need vitamin D supplements to keep their bones healthy. 1

"Our study only shows an association between insufficient levels of vitamin D and weight gain, we would need to do more studies before recommending the supplements to keep people from gaining weight," Dr. LeBlanc said. "Since there are so many conflicting recommendations about taking vitamin D for any reason, it's best if patients get advice from their own health care provider."

She points out that this study was conducted among older women who, for the most part, were not trying to lose weight -- though some of them did so as a natural result of aging. About 60 percent of the 4,659 women in the study remained at a stable weight (within 5 percent of their starting weight) over the 4.5-year study period, 27 percent lost more than 5 percent of their body weight, and 12 percent gained more than 5 percent of their body weight.

Most women in the study (78 percent) had less than 30 nanograms per millimeter (ng/ml) of vitamin D in their blood -- the level defined as sufficient by the Endocrine Society panel of experts who set clinical guidelines on vitamin D deficiency (pdf). These women had higher baseline weight to begin with: 148.6 pounds, compared with 141.6 pounds for women whose vitamin D levels were 30 ng/ml or above. Insufficient levels had no association with weight changes in the entire group of women, or in the group that lost weight. But in the group of 571 women who gained weight, those with insufficient vitamin D levels gained more -- 18.5 pounds over five years -- than women who had sufficient vitamin D. The latter group gained 16.4 pounds over the same period.

This study is part of a larger project called the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures that has been ongoing for more than two decades. During 1986-88, SOF enrolled nearly 10,000 women ages 65 and older and tracked their medical history through office and home visits, mailed surveys and telephone calls. The women are from Baltimore, Minneapolis, Portland, Ore. and the Monongahela Valley near Pittsburgh. The SOF study is supported by grants from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and the National Institute on Aging.

Authors include Erin S. LeBlanc, MD, MPH, Joanne H. Rizzo, MPA, Kathryn L. Pedula and Teresa A. Hillier, MD, from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore.; Kristine E. Ensrud, MD, from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Department of Medicine and Division of Epidemiology & Community Health, University of Minnesota in St. Paul; Jane Cauley, MD, Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh; and Marc Hochberg, MD, from the Department of Medicine, University of Maryland in Baltimore.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kaiser Permanente. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kaiser Permanente. "Low vitamin D levels linked to weight gain in some older women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120625125406.htm>.
Kaiser Permanente. (2012, June 25). Low vitamin D levels linked to weight gain in some older women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120625125406.htm
Kaiser Permanente. "Low vitamin D levels linked to weight gain in some older women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120625125406.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins