Vitamin D plus weight loss equals less chronic inflammation
Chronic inflammation may not sound like a serious problem in and of itself, but it has been shown to be involved in the progression of several cancers and other diseases. Reducing inflammation is therefore crucial for maintaining good health.
According to a study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, one of the best ways to do this may be to take vitamin D supplements while losing weight. Both of these strategies on their own had shown promise for managing inflammation in other studies, but this was the first to test the effect of both of them together.
The researchers recruited 218 postmenopausal women who were overweight and had lower-than-recommended levels of vitamin D. All the women participated in a 12-month diet and exercise program to help them lose weight, and half were given 2,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D each day, while the other half were given a placebo.
By the end of the study period, all of the participants had reduced their inflammation levels, but the group who took vitamin D saw greater improvements than the placebo group. The ideal combination seemed to be losing more than 10 percent of original body weight and taking vitamin D at the same time.
"We were quite surprised to see that vitamin D had an effect on an inflammation biomarker only among women who lost at least 5 percent of their baseline weight," said lead author Catherine Duggan, Ph.D., in a statement.
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