A Recent Study Suggests That One’s Weight Plays A Role In How Vitamin D Affects One’s Health

A Recent Study Suggests That One’s Weight Plays A Role In How Vitamin D Affects One’s Health

Individuals with a higher BMI exhibited a worse response to vitamin D supplementation, which might explain why there are differences in the outcomes of illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders.

New data has been unearthed by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which is part of the Mass General Brigham healthcare system. This new evidence suggests that persons with a high Body Mass Index may have a different metabolic pathway for vitamin D. (BMI). The findings, which were published in JAMA Network Open, are the result of a reanalysis of information from the VITAL trial, which was a nationwide clinical study led by scientists from Brigham that investigated the influence that vitamin D and marine omega-3 supplements have on lowering the risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Only persons with a body mass index (BMI) of under 25 were included in the study of the original VITAL data, and it was shown that vitamin D treatment was connected with good impacts on numerous health outcomes. This research may help explain lower effects of supplementing for persons with an increased body mass index (BMI). There seems to be something unusual occurring with vitamin D metabolism at greater body weights, and this study may help explain why.

Vitamin D is a vital component that plays a role in a number of different biological processes, the most important of which is assisting our body in the absorption of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Even while our bodies can produce part of the vitamin D we need via exposure to sunshine, deficits in vitamin D are often addressed with dietary supplements. Data from laboratory studies, epidemiologic study, and clinical research has also shown that vitamin D may have a role in the occurrence and development of cancer and cardiovascular disease. It was this evidence that inspired the initial VITAL experiment to be conducted.

The VITAL experiment was a randomised, double-blind, placebo trial with 25,871 individuals from the United States. Participants ranged in age from over 50 years old for males and over 55 years old for women. At the time of registration, not a single participant was suffering from any kind of cancer or cardiovascular illness. There was a statistical association between BMI and cancer incidence, cancer mortality, and the incidence of autoimmune illness, but the study demonstrated minimal effect of vitamin D supplementation for cancer prevention, heart attack, or stroke in the entire population. Additional research points to the same conclusion for type 2 diabetes.

The purpose of the latest research was to look at this link. The researchers looked at data from 16,515 people who took part in the first experiment and gave blood samples at the baseline (before they were assigned to receive vitamin D) They then looked at data from 2,742 people who had a follow-up blood sample collected two years later. The researchers determined the amounts of total & free vitamin D, in addition to several additional unique biomarkers for vitamin D. These novel biomarkers included its metabolites, calcium, as well as parathyroid hormone, which assists the body in using vitamin D.

No matter a person’s weight, the researchers discovered that taking vitamin D supplements led to an increase in majority of the biomarkers related with vitamin D metabolism in their subjects. On the other hand, these gains were far less pronounced among persons whose BMIs were higher.

This research gives insight on why we are finding reductions of 30–40 percent in cancer mortality, autoimmune disorders, and other endpoints with vitamin D supplementation among people with lower BMIs but limited benefit in those with higher BMIs. It suggests that it may be feasible to obtain advantages throughout the population with more customized dose of vitamin D.

The authors come to the conclusion that the results of the VITAL study are a call to action for the scientific community to continue researching the potential advantages of vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of cancer and other illnesses and to take into consideration BMI when assessing the health implications of the supplement.

Anna Daniels

Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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