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September 27, 2012
It is a known fact that the older we get, the harder it is for us to lose weight. This can be explained by plenty of factors. Young people have faster metabolism and can burn fat more efficiently compared to those who are older. Young people can develop muscle mass faster than the older people, therefore, exercising and activities bring more effects. Young people have better digestion system (not yet damaged by numerous crash diets, tobacco smoking or alcohol consumption), more efficient absorption of various nutrients and vitamins , and they are also exposed to less psychological and physical stress (like a childbirth or other factors) compared to those who are in their 40s or 50s. That is why trying to lose weight when you are 20 is far not the same as trying to lose weight when you are 45. Our body changes as we age, and so does our weight loss system, the experts say.
According to the findings of a recent research, such factor as vitamin D deficiency plays an important role in weight management of older women. The experts at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore, analyzed the data on 4,600 women aged over 65, collected for five years during a related weight loss study. It turned out that those of the participants who had decreased levels of vitamin D in blood had higher risks of weight gain and gained more weight during the study compared to those aging women who had normal amounts of vitamin D in the blood. The findings of the scientific group appeared this summer in one of the issues of the Journal of Women’s Health.
In the beginning of the study, most of the female participants had about 30 ng/ml of vitamin D in the blood which is considered normal. However, a number of the participants had less than 25 ng/ml which should be considered vitamin D deficiency according to the definition by The Endocrine Society panel. Initial tests have shown that those participants with too low levels of vitamin D also had higher body mass compared to those who had vitamin D levels of 30 ng/ml or above. In the coming time period of the study, about 570 women demonstrated weight gain, and those of the participants who had chronic vitamin D deficiency gained on average two pounds more compared to the participants with normal vitamin D levels.
According to Erin LeBlanc, MD, an endocrinologist and the study leader, the efforts of her scientific group did not end up with finding whether vitamin D deficiency causes weight gain or just reflects it. She underlines that this study has been just the first step to be followed by other studies to find out the links between weight gain and low levels of vitamin D. LeBlanc says that there were theoretical studies attempting to discover possible ways this vitamin could cause weight gain in old women. “Vitamin D could affect where fat cells shrink or get bigger,” LeBlanc said. The experts underlined that these findings had brought more controversy as to the effects of vitamin D on weight management in aging women. According to Robert Graham, an expert at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, the findings of his colleagues prove the importance of having sufficient levels of vitamin D in blood, especially for women aged 60 and older.
Vitamin D is known as ‘sun vitamin’. It can not be generated by our body and can only be received after an even short term exposure to the ultraviolet B (UVB) rays in sunlight. We need vitamin D for better absorption of some nutrients like phosphorus, calcium, and others. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to very serious health conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-like brain disorders, some types of cancer, and even premature death. Find more information about the backgrounds, objectives, methods and findings of American scientists about the importance of vitamin D for weight loss in this report. Keep in mind that getting your vitamin D levels tested can be a good idea to learn what your actual levels of this vitamin are. Also, remember that a combination of a healthy diet and active lifestyle is still considered the most effective formula to maintain a healthy body mass at any age.Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.