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Vitamin D Deficiency May Be Associated With Higher Body Mass Index And Inflammation


A new cross-sectional cohort study suggests there may be an inverse relationship between vitamin D deficiency and body mass index (BMI), average blood glucose, and the inflammatory marker of tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels in Korean women aged 50 years and over.


The worldwide prevalence and consequences of vitamin D deficiency are becoming increasingly apparent. Known to be associated with a myriad of acute and chronic illnesses including preeclampsia, autoimmune disorders, infectious diseases, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, neurological disorders, and others, a lack of this essential micronutrient is now recognized to be a global public health problem affecting all age groups.

Estimates suggest at least 1 billion people worldwide have outright vitamin D deficiency, with around 50 percent of the global population having insufficient levels. In the absence of adequate sun exposure, research shows that, in children and adults, an intake of at least 800-1000 IU per day may be needed to achieve sufficient levels.

Significantly, therefore, despite its population living in a region with plentiful sun, research has even found high rates of vitamin D deficiency in Africa. An analysis published in The Lancet in 2019 suggests between 18 and 59 percent of African people have inadequate levels of this key micronutrient. Deficiency was found to be particularly common in newborn babies, women, urban populations, populations living in northern African countries, and people in South Africa. The researchers say their findings challenge commonly heard claims that a lack of vitamin D is rare on the African continent.

To read about studies conducted at the Dr. Rath Research Institute that demonstrate the impressive health benefits of the D3 form of vitamin D, see this article on our website.