By Diane Mapes
"Vitamin D is certainly having its day in the spotlight," said Dr. Caitlin Mason, a researcher on a Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center study showing that healthy vitamin D levels may be associated with weight loss in
The study — published in the British Medical Journal and part of the larger Vitamin D, Diet and Activity (ViDA) study — looked at D3 supplementation among a group of overweight women ages 50 to 75 who tested low in D. The study found women whose vitamin D levels rose to what is considered a healthy level lost more weight, body fat and waist circumference than those whose levels did not become replete or who were assigned placebo.
The results are part of a growing body of research suggesting healthy levels of the vitamin are crucial; other studies have linked insufficient D to cancer, heart disease and other illnesses.
The problem, scientists say, is that people don’t think about checking their vitamin D levels like they do cholesterol or blood pressure.
"Vitamin D is something people are really familiar with,” Mason said. “But there are dangers with it being too low or too high. It’s best to talk to your doctor about getting tested so that any supplementation you take is really personalized. That’s the biggest take-home message."