International health insurance customers who are overweight or obese might want to discuss the benefits of losing weight with their doctor.
According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shedding some pounds can increase vitamin D levels.
This can be important for health, since the fat-soluble nutrient promotes calcium absorption, protects older adults from osteoporosis, influences cell growth and reduces inflammation.
Caitlin Mason, lead author of the paper, commented: "Since vitamin D is generally lower in persons with obesity, it is possible that low vitamin D could account, in part, for the link between obesity and diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
"Determining whether weight loss helps change vitamin D status is important for understanding potential avenues for disease prevention."
The researchers found that women who lost more than 15 per cent of their weight saw an almost three-fold increase in vitamin D levels, independent of dietary intake.