PORTLAND – It’s not what you want to hear on another gray day in Portland since Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin.” An Oregon researcher found a link between women who don’t get enough Vitamin D and weight gain.
“Older women with an insufficiency gained about two more pounds over 4 years,” explained Dr. Erin LeBlanc at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland.
Previous research had shown that, when you add Vitamin D to fat cells there are changes.
LeBlanc said the vitamin could regulate fat buildup or breakdown but she warned there’s not enough evidence to actually recommend Vitamin D as a way to prevent weight gain.
“We need to move on to the next step to really examine this question,” she remarked.
The research in Oregon, Washington and three other states also found 80 percent of the 4,600 women in the study had insufficient Vitamin D. The National Institutes of Health recommends most of the population get 600 IU’s a day. After the age of 70, it goes up to 800 IU’s a day.
Portlander Joanne Glickman takes that amount of Vitamin D in supplements.
“My doctor told me to take it so my bones don’t break up as I get older. But I gain weight based on what I eat, not on whether I’m taking Vitamin D,” she added with a laugh.
Dr. LeBlanc said people may experience fatigue or bone pain if you’re not getting enough Vitamin D but few actually develop those symptoms.
“There are so many factors to consider: How much sun you get, your diet, your ability to absorb Vitamin D. So that’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor and find out if you need a blood test to determine if you’re not getting enough, ” she advised.