Vitamin D May Support Weight LossPrint
Maylin Rodriguez-Paez RN
A growing number of Europeans are overweight. Given that obesity is linked to multiple health risks, something obviously needs to change.
Can supplementing with Vitamin D possibly help counter this growing epidemic? According to a group of Italian scientists, the answer may be yes.
Their preliminary research was presented at the 2015 European Congress on Obesity.
Participants Supplementing with Vitamin D Lost Weight
Previous research links vitamin D deficiencies to being overweight. For example, in a study published in 2014, women who maximized their vitamin D blood levels through supplementation lost on average seven pounds more than women taking a placebo.2
For the current study, Italian researchers tested the effect of vitamin D supplements on overweight, vitamin D-deficient individuals. A group of 400 people were given one of three treatments: 25,000 IU of vitamin D, 100,000 IU of vitamin D, or no vitamin D (control), along with a low calorie diet for six months.
According to the results of the study, the participants in the vitamin D groups lost more weight and inches off their waists than the control group. The best results were seen for the 100,000 IU group who lost on average 5.4 kg compared to control, 1.2 kg.3
The study hints that vitamin D deficiencies play a role in obesity and correcting them may support weight loss. Furthermore, those who have difficulty losing weight should have their vitamin D levels tested to rule out a deficiency.
Vitamin D Targets Inflammation and the Breakdown of Fat
While the exact mechanisms are not entirely clear, vitamin D attacks a principle factor in obesity: inflammation.
Excess inflammation has been shown to inhibit hormones which influence appetite. In addition, vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, a critical nutrient that also plays a role in weight management.
Together they help to regulate the rate at which fat cells are broken down (a process called lipolysis).4
Are You Vitamin D-ficient?
The best way to determine a vitamin D deficiency is to perform a Vitamin D 25-hydroxy blood test. For optimal blood levels, between 5000–7000 IUs of vitamin D are suggested daily. Are you getting enough?
- Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/obesity-overweight.htm. Accessed June 1, 2015.
- Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 May;99(5):1015-25.
- “Vitamin D supplementation promotes weight loss and waist circumference reduction in overweight/obese adults with hypovitaminosis D.” Presented at: European Congress on Obesity. May 2015; Prague, Czech Republic.
- Annu Rev Nutr. 2007;27:79-101.