The vitamin may positively influence physical activity levels and functioning….
Tomás Ahern, MB, BCh, BAO, of St. Columcille’s Hospital and St. Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin, said in a press release, "People with severe obesity already are eight times more likely to have poor physical function than people with a healthy BMI." "Poor vitamin D status contributes to the deterioration of physical function in this population."
Researchers in Ireland recruited 252 adults aged 18 to 75 years with BMI ≥50 into a clinic-based, cross-sectional study. Participants were assigned to groups based on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in blood samples, according to North American Institute of Medicine risk categorization; at risk for deficiency, within range of adequacy and above adequacy threshold.
Participants were timed as they walked 500 m and climbed up and down a single 17-cm step 50 times. They also provided estimates of their physical activity.
Participants above the threshold with a 25-(OH)D >50 nmol/L had the highest activity levels compared with those at risk of deficiency with a 25-(OH)D <30 nmol/L (3.1 ± 3.4 hours per week vs. 1.5 ± 2.5 hours per week; P=.015) and the shorter walk times (6.2 ± 1.1 minutes vs. 7.4 ± 1.5 minutes; P=.003).
"Improving vitamin D status should improve quality of life and may decrease the risk of early death in people with severe obesity," Ahern said. "This could be a simple matter of spending more time outside, since sun exposure can boost the body’s natural vitamin D production."
- Poor vitamin D status contributes to the deterioration of physical function in the obese populations.
- Participants above the threshold with a 25-(OH)D >50 nmol/L had the highest activity levels compared with those at risk of deficiency.
- Vitamin D may decrease the risk of early death in people with severe obesity.
Ahern T. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014;doi:10.1210/jc.2014-1704.