Unless you have fair-colored skin and spend many hours a day in the sun, it may be prudent to assume that you are vitamin D deficient unless your lab work proves otherwise. According to The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005-2006), the overall prevalence rate of vitamin D deficiency was 41.6%, with the highest rate seen in blacks (82.1%), followed by Hispanics (69.2%).

Vitamin D is important in in maintaining bone and muscle strength, maintaining heart health and in preventing/regulating multiple diseases.

The Study

Recently, researchers have been evaluating the relationship between vitamin D and weight through an interaction with the brain.

In the study, researchers administered vitamin D to a part of the brain in obese rats that is instrumental in determining weight. In addition, rats were also given vitamin D by mouth.

Results

Immediately,¬†vitamin D supplementation improved insulin sensitivity, meaning that the rats’ bodies were better able to handle blood sugar. After 4 weeks of supplementation, the researchers also observed a large decrease in food intake and weight. In fact, the obese rats lost about 24% of their pre-study bodyweight.¬†

Take Home Point

While this study was done in rats, it may have some interesting implications for humans. We already know the importance of having normal vitamin D levels, but its potential positive effect on weight loss may also further improve health. Hopefully, these benefits will translate to us, but in the mean time, please get your vitamin D level checked at your next appointment to make sure that you are preventing other potential disease states.

Read more about Vitamin D here.