Low vitamin D levels have long been tied to malnourishment and resultant health problems such as rickets that involve weak bones. But what is surprising to many is that recent research on vitamin D has found that most people are deficient in vitamin D. In particular, those with dark skin such as African-Americans are at particularly high risk for low levels of vitamin D and a wide range of common health problems including obesity, diabetes, asthma, autism, and depression that research is showing are likely related to insufficient vitamin D.
Vitamin D Deficiency Epidemic Tied to Obesity and Diabetes Epidemics
The mainstream media has been reporting lately on Michella Obama’s efforts to improve nutrition for kids. She is focusing on reducing calorie-laden foods such as soft-drinks and fast-food, increasing the consumption of healthier foods such as vegetables, and getting kids to trade in some of their sedentary activities such as watching TV for exercise. Yet she and her associates appear to be paying little attention to the widespread vitamin D deficiency epidemic that is increasingly being tied to the epidemics of obesity and diabetes.
Are you one of the majority of Americans who are overweight or obese? It might interest you to know that the growing mountain of vitamin D research showing that your health will suffer if you don’t get enough vitamin D now includes research that ties increased vitamin D blood serum levels to improved success at weight loss during diets.
This data is from a small study of 38 obese individuals undergoing an 11 week long weight loss program. Obviously replication in larger groups and in other studies would help firm up the conclusions. However, intriguingly the amount of weight lost during the 11 week diet was predictable based upon vitamin D blood serum levels in a very consistent fashion.
The researchers believe there is a predictable pattern here despite the small study size. For each 1 ng/mL higher vitamin D in blood serum, the dieter lost about half a pound more weight. Further, the higher vitamin D levels correlated with more abdominal weight loss. Researchers suspect that vitamin D may help the body metabolize fat more effectively. While more studies are needed to fully understand the exact mechanism of the increase fat loss induced by higher vitamin D levels, it’s not premature to be advising that people need to be increasing and/or monitoring their vitamin D intake more carefully to improve their health.
Given the widespread prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, few side effects from vitamin D supplements, and the low cost of those supplements, anybody intent on losing weight and body fat should be sure to bump up their vitamin D intake to attain optimal vitamin D levels. If you’re willing to spend money on diet books, Weight Watchers classes, low-calorie meals, etc. then you shouldn’t hesitate at the small annual cost (well less than $100 for most adults) of vitamin D supplementation and periodic vitamin D blood tests to verify you are getting optimal nutrition.
Dr. Broda Barnes spent 52 years of his life researching the human thyroid gland and its impact on health. Although he died in 1988, his work lives on through the Broda O. Barnes M.D. Research Foundation as well as books and many in the alternative medicine community who believe he was on the right track regarding a hidden widespread epidemic of low thyroid functioning begin responsible for rising levels of metabolic related health problems. The 40% of the population affected by the rising epidemics of high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome interestingly approximate the 40% of the population whom Dr. Barnes suspected have hypothyroidism, the vast majority of whom have never been diagnosed with the condition. Among Dr. Broda’s many writings on thyroid disease and treatment, his book Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness stands out as popular, relevant, and well-reviewed even decades after its original publication. The book explains how to detect low thyroid function, the adverse health effects it causes, and how to improve thyroid hormone levels to restore health.
Are you stressed out and depressed? Having trouble falling asleep each night? Feeling like you could use some help? A lot of us going through high-conflict divorces, child custody battles, divorce-induced bankruptcy, mental illnesses (depression, panic attacks, etc.), job troubles, and other life problems have such symptoms. The ongoing economic crisis may be compounding such troubles, or enough to stress you out on its own. Rather than resorting to the typical psychiatric medicines like anti-depressants and anxiolytics, consider drinking tea or taking L-theanine, a natural substance extracted from tea that may help reduce anxiety and depression.
Curcumin is part of the widely used Indian spice tumeric. We’ve discussed many of its health benefits in a previous article. In short, they include anti-inflammation, anti-cancer, antioxidant, and other actions. Some newly discovered benefits of curcumin supplementation with regard to weight control have been brought to our attention and we’d like to share them with you.
Curcumin apparently inhibits angiogenesis (the growing of new blood vessels) that is necessary both for the growth of cancerous tumors and fatty (adipose) tissues. It also inhibits the maturation of fat cells (adipocytes) and lowers blood serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, and free fatty acids. Finally, it reduces weight gain from a fatty diet.
Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) conducted a 16-week study to see if slightly modifying the diets of Latino teenagers would affect type 2 diabetes risk factors. The findings were reported in the April 2009 issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Latino Teens Have High Obesity and Diabetes Risks
The research participants were Latino teenagers because previous research showed almost 40 percent of Mexican American children ages 12 to 19 were found to be overweight or at risk of developing diabetes.
“Latino children are more insulin resistant and thus more likely to develop obesity-related chronic diseases than their white counterparts,” the authors write. “To date, only a few studies have examined the effects of a high-fiber, low-sugar diet on metabolic health in overweight youth, and to our knowledge, none have tested the effects of this type of intervention in a mixed-sex group of Latino youth.”
It’s possible to “catch the fat” as one cause of obesity is a contagious human virus. While viral-induced obesity is not the only way people become obese, it is apparently a widespread and significant cause.
The human virus Ad-36, a member of the adenovirus family, spreads via airborne means and infects the lungs first, much like the common cold virus. Then it spreads to the rest of the body. It has symptoms similar to the cold, such as sore throats. Worse, it apparently forces fat cells to multiply throughout the body, leading to an estimated 3 months of weight gain before the body mounts an effective defense to the virus.