Vitamin D deficiency may cause older women to put on extra pounds, a new study suggests.
Of the 571 women over age 65 who gained weight during a four-and-a-half year study, those who had insufficient levels of vitamin D gained two full pounds more than those who had adequate levels of the vitamin, scientists at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research found.
“Although it was only two pounds, over time that can add up,” says researcher Erin Leblanc, M.D.
So, if you find yourself cooped up inside most days, it may be time to get out of the house and get a little sun. Between 5 and 30 minutes of sun exposure twice per week should net you adequate vitamin D. Vitamin D is also found in high levels in foods like salmon, tuna fish, and fortified milk and orange juice.
The study appears online in the Journal of Women’s Health.