(HealthDay News) – For older women who gain weight, high levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] are linked with less weight gain compared to that found in women with low levels of 25(OH)D.

Erin S LeBlanc, MD, MPH, of Kaiser Permanente Northwest in Portland, Ore, and associates conducted a longitudinal study of 4,659 women aged >65 years with baseline 25(OH)D measurements. Participants were followed for 4.5 years to assess whether low vitamin D status predisposes weight gain.

The researchers found that women with 25(OH)D levels ≥30ng/mL had a significantly lower baseline weight versus those with 25(OH)D levels <30ng/mL (P<0.001). Status of 25(OH)D did not correlate with weight change but there was a significant interaction between 25(OH)D status and weight change category. For women who gained >5% weight, those with baseline levels of 25(OH)D ≥30ng/mL gained significantly less weight than those with baseline levels of 25(OH)D <30ng/mL (16.4 vs. 18.5 pounds; P=0.04). Status of 25(OH)D at baseline did not correlate with weight change for those who lost weight or remained stable.

“Higher 25(OH)D levels are associated with lower weight gains, suggesting low vitamin D status may predispose to fat accumulation,” the authors write. “Our data support the need for improved understanding of how 25(OH)D is associated with body weight in older women, especially given that 25(OH)D repletion is easy, well tolerated, and inexpensive.”

One author disclosed financial ties to Amgen; one author disclosed ties to Theralogix, which markets nutritional supplements, including vitamin D.

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