There are many, many benefits of shedding pounds. That much is true. Here is an important thing to consider. Researchers found that people with excess bodily baggage can return their vitamin-D levels to normal if they shed pounds, even if they had low levels before.
It is possible that low vitamin D could play some role in obesity, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. And so the opposite could be true — if you move yourself out of the obese zone, it seems that your vitamin D will seem to rise.
One of the largest studies to assess vitamin D and shedding pounds involved 439 overweight-to-obese women aged 50 to 75. They were put in one of four groups: exercise only; diet only; exercise plus diet; and no intervention.
Those who lost five percent to 10% of their body weight (about 10 to 20 pounds for the women in the study) through diet and/or exercise saw a relatively small increase in blood levels of vitamin D. But the women who dropped more than 15% of their weight had a nearly threefold increase in vitamin D. This occurred despite any dietary changes.
These were surprising results. Whereas before we knew that modestly dropping some pounds helps improve many things in the body (like blood pressure and cholesterol), we now know that if you try to achieve more pounds lost, it can meaningfully raise blood vitamin-D levels.
Vitamin D is naturally found in some foods, such as fatty fish, and is produced within the body when skin is exposed to sunlight. According to the Institute of Medicine, just 10 minutes of sun a day is enough to trigger adequate vitamin-D production.
It is thought that obese and overweight people have lower levels of vitamin D because the nutrient is stored in fat deposits. When you shed pounds, vitamin D that is trapped in the fat tissue may be released into the blood.
And what we know now is that the best health advice is to ensure you have optimal levels of vitamin D in your body.