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Abdominal Fat Linked to Low Vitamin D Intake

By Daniel H. Rasolt

Posted: Saturday, March 14, 2009

(Defeat Diabetes® News) -- Teens who consume more vitamin D tend to have lower abdominal fat, and a subsequently diminished risk in the development of future heart disease and diabetes. This recently published research suggests that teens need to be educated to the benefits of vitamin D, and increase their natural and supplemental exposure to it.
Vitamin D, in past research, has been directly linked to diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. A major source of vitamin D is sunlight, and some research has shown that individuals in areas with more sunlight are at less risk for these conditions. Fatty fish, and milk fortified with the vitamin, as well as common supplements, are considered to be the best sources of vitamin D.
The current study is one of the first to give a possible explanation as to why low vitamin D intake is related to diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Both diabetes and CVD have been closely linked to abdominal fat, also known and visceral fat, which in the current research, appears to at least partially be a result of insufficient vitamin D consumption.
The study was conducted on 659 adolescents, from 14-19 years of age, covering both sexes and various races. Body-fat tests were administered, and questionnaires concerning typical vitamin D consumption and other nutritional behaviors, were filled out. General conclusions, while not definitive, were able to be made as a result of the nondiscriminatory nature of the study. The relationship between low vitamin D intake and high visceral fat was distinct.
Several conclusions and suggestions based on the above observations were made by the researchers. To make the results more definitive, researcher Inger Stallman-Jorgensen suggests that "now we need to do intervention studies where we give teens vitamin D supplements to determine if there is a cause and effect relationship between vitamin D intake and fat." It's further suggested that teens drink more milk, and become more active outdoors, to increase vitamin D intake.

Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Stallman-Jorgensen, Inger. Hilliard, Jennifer. Medical College of Georgia news release. March 2009.

Daniel H. Rasolt writes for Defeat Diabetes® News. Read more of his original content articles.

Copyright © 2009 Defeat Diabetes Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.

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