The Rise of Obesity and Falling Vitamin D

2018-08-06T10:11:20+00:00February 18th, 2013|Bone Health, Healthy Aging, Research & Science, Science News, Vitality + Well-Being|
The rising rate of obesity may be partially to blame for declining  levels of vitamin D sufficiency, according to new study.

The rising rate of obesity may play a role in declining levels of vitamin D sufficiency, says new study.

If there had been an award for “Most Valuable Nutrient” of the decade, vitamin D would without a doubt be a front-runner. Every tissue and cell in the body has a vitamin D receptor, signifying its importance in everything from bone health to brain health.

Unfortunately, it’s been estimated (1) that 20 to 100 percent of U.S., Canadian, and European elderly men and women are deficient in the “sunshine vitamin”—appropriately named since it can be produced by the body when exposed to direct sunlight. While research has focused on lack of sun exposure (especially during the winter months) as a reason for vitamin D deficiency, a new player may be to blame—obesity.

In a recent study with over 42,000 people from 21 countries, researchers found a significant link between high body mass index (BMI) and low vitamin D levels (2). In fact, for each 10 percent increase in BMI there was a 4.2 percent drop in vitamin D.

“We demonstrated that the association between BMI and lower (vitamin D) concentrations in Caucasian populations from North America and Europe can be seen across different age groups in both men and women,” the authors state in a press release. “We also show that a higher BMI leads to lower vitamin D status, providing evidence for the role of obesity as a causal risk factor for developing vitamin D deficiency,” they continued.

These results raise concerns: If obesity is continuing to increase around the world, is an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency also more likely to be rampant? While someone who is overweight or obese can be identified simply by appearance, vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency may not be as easily detected. Vitamin D insufficiency can go undetected until diagnosed by a physician.

How can you make sure your vitamin D levels are up to par? Getting a healthy dose of sunshine, supplementation, and maintaining a healthy body weight will do you good. Why supplements if you can just get vitamin D from the sun? It’s because we stay indoors more often than ever these days and because the sun is not strong enough to stimulate vitamin D production in the winter.  

But are you getting what you need from your supplement? A recent analysis published in JAMA Internal Medicine has stirred up some questions regarding the potency of vitamin D supplements (3). Results showed that vitamin D supplements ranged from 9 percent to 146 percent of the amount listed on the label. Not only were there variations among different brands and manufacturers, but also among the different pills in the same bottle.

Rest assured that Isagenix offers “no compromise quality” when it comes to their products. If there’s one thing people should know before ever making a dietary supplement purchase, it’s that good manufacturing practices are a crucial component when it comes to the efficacy.  

Isagenix Ageless Actives is a high-quality dietary supplement containing vitamin D3—the form that has been shown to be most effective at raising the blood levels of the essential-for-life nutrient. Combined with the vitamin D boosting effects of safe sun exposure and maintaining a healthy weight, Ageless Actives provides you with the right form of vitamin D for optimal health.


  1. Holick MF, Binkley NC, Bischoff-Ferrari HA et al. Evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2011;96:1911-30.
  2. Vimaleswaran KS, Berry DJ, Lu C et al. Causal Relationship between Obesity and Vitamin D Status: Bi-Directional Mendelian Randomization Analysis of Multiple Cohorts. PLoS Med 2013;10:e1001383.
  3. Leblanc ES, Perrin N, Johnson JD, Ballatore A, Hillier T. Over-the-Counter and Compounded Vitamin D: Is Potency What We Expect? JAMA Intern Med 2013;1-2.