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Vitamin D testing may benefit obese individuals, as these people are often deficient of the vitamin. Improving their intake of the nutrient may help them avoid some of the more common conditions associated with obesity, including diabetes and heart disease.
Sarfraz Zaidi, who recently led a task force, said that the two conditions are linked because they share many of the same contributing factors. Individuals who get little physical exercise also tend to receive less sun exposure. This may be a problem because, for many people, the main source of vitamin D is sun exposure.
This may compound the risk for many of the diseases associated with obesity. Zaidi added that vitamin D deficiency has been shown to worsen insulin resistance, which is a main cause of diabetes and high blood pressure. While obese individuals could improve their health with higher vitamin D levels, they often have little opportunity for their body to produce it.
"Obesity and vitamin D deficiency are intertwined," Zaidi said. "You treat one, the other gets treated as well. For example, if you treat vitamin D deficiency, you improve physical strength and get rid of fatigue, body aches and pains, which naturally increases your exercise level and in this way greatly helps in the treatment of obesity."
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