Serious health issues of "epidemic" Vitamin D insufficiency, that has been linked to increased body fat, decreased muscle strength and a range of disorders, has been pointed out by researchers.
A ground-breaking study, led by Dr. Richard Kremer, co-director of the Musculoskeletal Axis of the Research Institute of the MUHC, found a staggering 59 per cent of the healthy young women examined had too little Vitamin D in their blood.
Dr. Kremer said: "Vitamin D insufficiency is a risk factor for other diseases. Because it is linked to increased body fat, it may affect many different parts of the body. Abnormal levels of Vitamin D are associated with a whole spectrum of diseases, including cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes, as well as cardiovascular and autoimmune disorders."
Dr. Kremer, who is also Professor of Medicine at McGill University, added: "We are not yet sure what is causing Vitamin D insufficiency in this group. High levels of Vitamin D could help reduce body fat. Or, fat tissues might absorb or retain Vitamin D, so that people with more fat are likely to also be Vitamin D deficient."
The research by Dr. Kremer and co-investigator Dr. Vincente Gilsanz, head of musculoskeletal imaging at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles of the University of Southern California, is the first to show a clear link between Vitamin D levels and the accumulation of fat in muscle tissue.
The study has been published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.