Washington: Being obese can cause a deficiency in vitamin D circulating in the body, reports a new study.Efforts to tackle obesity should thus also help to reduce levels of vitamin D deficiency in the population, says the lead investigator of the study, Dr Elina Hypponen.The new study sought to establish the direction of causality i.e. whether a lack of vitamin D triggers a weight gain, or whether obesity leads to the deficiency.Researchers used genetic markers derived from an analysis of 21 adult cohort groups (up to 42,000 participants) to explore the link between body mass index (BMI) and genes associated with the synthesis and metabolism of vitamin D.Associations between vitamin D and BMI were further confirmed using data from another genetic consortium with over 123,000 participants.It was found that a 10 per cent rise in BMI was linked to a four per cent drop in concentrations of vitamin D in the body. Overall, the findings suggest that a higher BMI leads to lower levels of available vitamin D, while the effect of a lack of vitamin D on BMI appears to be very small.
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