It’s, basically, a time bomb strapped around your middle ticking away.
So many deadly diseases have been linked to a big gut. Cancer. Heart disease. Diabetes. In fact, if you’re hauling around a sizable spare tire, you’re more likely to die earlier from ANY cause. That’s straight from the Mayo Clinic.
And now it turns out that you could do everything right: exercise, eat well, and more. But the thing that could be causing your belly fat is something you never thought of.
A vitamin deficiency.
And this vitamin deficiency is so rampant it’s no wonder so many of us are struggling with a muffin top.
Is YOUR “beer belly” really a shortage of UVB?
New research has uncovered a troubling link between obesity – especially belly fat – and what amounts to too little exposure to UVB rays. In other words low levels of the sunshine vitamin, or D.
And this conclusion didn’t come from observing some tiny group of participants either. The researchers dove into the data from the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity study… with a HUGE sample of 6,673 participants. All of them between the ages of 45 and 65 years old.
When the researchers dug deeper, they saw that the folks with more belly fat were also seriously deficient in vitamin D.
The problem, of course, is we have a real chicken or egg problem here. Which came first? The fat or the deficiency?
Scientists aren’t positive yet. But what we DO know is if you have a big gut, a vitamin D deficiency is practically a guarantee. So get your levels checked pronto.
In fact, these low vitamin D levels may explain why belly fat is associated with so many deadly diseases and early death. Because low D levels are ALSO associated with higher risks of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Plus a host of other serious problems including bone loss and dementia.
2 of the best ways to get more vitamin D
In other words, it’s not about the fat alone. A lack of the sunshine vitamin could also be contributing to those deaths. And it may explain why more and more Americans are getting sick too. Because an estimated 85 percent of us don’t get enough vitamin D.
If you’re one of them, it’s time to get serious about boosting your levels. When you do, you’ll be fighting belly fat, lowering your risk for a laundry list of illnesses, and reducing your chances of dying from an early death
Vitamin D isn’t like other vitamins. It’s actually a hormone. And instead of coming from food, our bodies MAKE it when sunlight, or more specifically UVB rays, hit our skin.
But if you’re confused about the whole sunshine thing, you’re not alone.
You’ve probably heard warnings about skin cancer from the media and even your own doctor. They say to stay out of the sun and slather yourself from head to toe with sunscreen before stepping outdoors.
Which means there’s no way for your body to make enough natural vitamin D. And to be clear, they are getting something right. You do have to be careful not to overdo in the sunshine department. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid getting any sunlight at all.
If you live north of Atlanta, you won’t be able to get enough bright sunlight in the winter for your body to synthesize vitamin D. So for most folks, summer is your best bet for spending some time outdoors, wisely.
- Always protect any areas where you tend to burn. Use sunscreen or a hat to protect your ears, face, top of your head, and chest.
- Sit in the sun with your legs, arms, belly, and back exposed (and no sunscreen) for 10 to 15 minutes. Then head for shade and cover up or apply sunscreen to any exposed areas.
- Be sure to get outside between 10 am and 3 pm when the sun is high enough to stimulate your vitamin-D production.
- Try to do this daily in the summer – or as often as you can – to get enough vitamin D to last you. Any extra vitamin D is stored in your fat cells and liver so your body can keep using your “stockpile” all winter long.
Don’t fear the sun. Simply respect it.
You may have heard that some foods are brimming with vitamin D. But that’s not exactly true.
You can get D from your diet by eating more wild-caught cold water fish, eggs, cheese, beef liver and foods fortified with D. But in most cases, a serving won’t give you more than five percent of your daily requirement. So if you’re not getting enough sun exposure, you may need to consider taking a supplement too.
Just make sure you’re picking the right kind. Not all D supplements are alike. There are two types of D: D2 or D3. D2 is a synthetic version of vitamin D. While D3 is what your body produces when exposed to the sun.
Studies have found that D3 lowers your mortality risk by six percent. Plus it is 87 percent more effective at raising your D levels than synthetic D2. And D2 could come with some unwanted dangers too.
So how much D3 should you take? First, get tested. And keep being checked regularly to make sure you have the optimal serum levels of between 40 ng/ml and 70 ng/ml. For most folks, 8,000 IUs of vitamin D a day will work to raise your levels, fight disease, and possibly reduce belly fat without running the risk of getting too much.