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New research from Drexel University suggests that a vitamin D deficiency may aggravate obese individuals' risk of developing diabetes. These findings may underscore the importance of a lab test to measure vitamin D levels among people who have weight problems.
Vitamin D deficiency and obesity are independent risk factors for diabetes. One team of scientists conducted an experiment in order to determine whether these two variables had a synergistic effect on the development of diabetes.
The researchers reviewed the medical information of more than 5,800 individuals who participated in a previous nationwide study. Data analyses revealed that insulin resistance was 20 times more common among obese subjects than it was in the overall study population. That rate was 32 times more common among research participants who were both obese and deficient in vitamin D.
"Our results suggest that the combination of these two factors increases the odds of insulin resistance to an even greater degree than would have been expected based on their individual contributions," said lead author Shaum Kabadi.
The scientists said that excess fat tissue stores vitamin D and hampers the body's ability to use the nutrient.
Obese individuals who are worried about their vitamin D levels may want to consider taking a lab test.
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