A recent research has just found that a low vitamin D level makes the stomach fat; thereby, an adequate vitamin D may help maintain a flat stomach. The study was undertaken by researchers at the University of Minnesota, which aimed at analyzing the role of vitamin D in metabolism as well as fat loss.
The research involved following 4,727 young men and women for 20 years, which enabled the researchers to analyze the vitamin D intake of these subjects. The researchers followed up the intake of vitamin D both from dietary sources and supplements as well as the subject’s risk for developing metabolic syndrome.
The results showed that those who had limited intake of vitamin D either from diet or supplements were far more likely to develop obesity or become overweight. Also, they were far more likely to develop high levels of blood glucose and had lower levels of HDL or good cholesterol. When HDL is lowered, the bad cholesterol or LDL may increase leading to an increase in the risk for developing heart diseases.
These results reveal the role of vitamin D in metabolism. Vitamin D is used by the body to absorb calcium adequately and regulate the level of calcium in the blood and bones. Contrary to popular belief, Vitamin D does not come from the sun; instead, sunlight stimulates or activates the vitamin D already in the skin to be used by the body.
Vitamin D can be both taken in by consuming vitamin D-rich foods as well as vitamin supplements. Vitamin D rich foods consist of fish, fish oil, orange juice, liver, eggs, dairy, and cereals. However, some people may not get the recommended daily intake of vitamin D, which is 600 IU, so taking vitamin supplements may help.
The role of vitamin D in terms of weight loss involves being able to reduce the activity of the white adipose tissues; which helps the body regulate the blood sugar levels. As a result, there is more efficient utilization of glucose and most carbohydrates preventing the build-up in the body as fat. This action of vitamin D in fat loss is actually rooted to its ability to stimulate the production of osteocalcin, which is an important protein found in the bones and teeth. Osteocalcin is produced by the osteoblasts in the bones, but requires vitamin D in order for the osteoblasts to be stimulated.
Osteocalcin is very important in metabolism because it stimulates the beta cells to produce insulin; as a result, there is better glucose utilization. Aside from these, osteocalcin may also stimulate the fat cells to produce adinopectin, contributing to the prevention of fat build-up.
Among all these, the role of vitamin D is very important because without it, all the cascades in the production of osteocalcin are inhibited.
Based on this, having adequate amounts of vitamin D in the diet is essential. However, it should be noted that the daily vitamin D requirements of adults is only up to 600 IU. Although dietary sources normally do not cause overdose, dietary supplements should be taken cautiously in order not to exceed the recommended allowances for vitamin D.
For those who want to lose abdominal fat, it is essential to include vitamin D rich foods in the diet.