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Vitamin D and obesity

Obese women had significantly greater vitamin D stores

Enlarged adipose mass in obese individuals serves as a reservoir for vitamin D

Obese women have significantly greater total vitamin D stores than normal-weight women, although the pattern of distribution of the stores is similar, according to a study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. The research included obese women undergoing bariatric surgery and normal-weight women undergoing abdominal surgery for benign gynaecologic conditions (36 women in total).

The study, ‘Vitamin D Storage in Adipose Tissue of Obese and Normal Weight Women’, led by Dr Angela Carrelli from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, and colleagues examined whether the correlation between body composition, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D), vitamin D in subcutaneous (SQ) and omental (OM) adipose, and total adipose stores of vitamin D varied for obese women and normal-weight controls.

They reported that Serum 25OHD was similar between groups (OB:27 ± 2 vs C:26 ± 2ng/mL; p=0.71). Adipose vitamin D concentrations were not significantly different in either SQ (OB:34 ± 9 vs C:26 ± 12ng/g; p=0.63) or OM compartments (OB:51 ± 13 vs C:30 ± 18ng/g; p=0.37).

Total body vitamin D stores were significantly greater in OB (2.3 ± 0.6 vs C:0.4 ± 0.8mg; p<0.01). In summary, while OB had significantly greater total vitamin D stores than C, the relationship between serum 25OHD and fat vitamin D and the overall pattern of distribution of vitamin D between the OM and SQ fat compartments was similar. Obese women had significantly greater total body vitamin D stores.

"Our data demonstrate that obese subjects have greater adipose stores of vitamin D," the authors write. "They support the hypotheses that the enlarged adipose mass in obese individuals serves as a reservoir for vitamin D, and that the increased amount of vitamin D required to saturate this depot may predispose obese individuals to inadequate serum 25(OH)D." 

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