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Obesity + Low Vitamin D = Insulin Resistance?

A recent study has shown obesity and low vitamin D can lead to insulin resistanceAfter analyzing data from 5806 participants in a large national health survey, researchers at Drexel University School of Public Health found that low levels of vitamin D among obese individuals may increase the risk of insulin resistance, a contributing factor in the development of type 2 diabetes. Individually, vitamin D insufficiency and obesity are recognized as independent risks for insulin resistance. The Drexel study, published online on June 29, 2012 in Diabetes Care, suggests that the combination of both greatly increases the odds. The researchers found that obese people who had healthy levels of “D” had insulin resistance nearly 20 times more often than the rest of the study population, and that those obese individuals who were also low on “D” had insulin resistance 32 times more often than average. Vitamin D is stored in adipose (fat) tissue and is largely unavailable for use by the body which puts overweight people at risk for low levels of D. (The study did not explore whether taking supplements of vitamin D could reduce the risk of insulin resistance or diabetes in obese people.)

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