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To D Or Not To D: The Link Between Vitamin D And Weight Control

Anna Garrett's picture

weight loss

Most people are familiar with vitamin D’s role in preventing rickets in children and in helping the body absorb calcium from the diet.

Recently, research has shown that vitamin D is important in protecting the body from a much wider range of diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and multiple sclerosis.

Vitamin D is actually a prohormone and not technically a vitamin: a vitamin is defined as a substance that is not made naturally by the body but must be supplied in the diet to maintain life processes.

Our bodies make most of our vitamin D by the action of ultraviolet light (sunlight) on our skin. We only get very small amounts of vitamin D from our diet.

A major cause of deficiency is not getting enough sun. This is very common in northern climates where people don’t spend much time outdoors. The use of sunscreen also blocks the beneficial action of the sun’s rays on skin.

We’ve known for a few years that vitamin D and weight are linked, but the debate has been how. People who are overweight or obese tend to have low vitamin D levels.

But what came first? The obesity or the vitamin D loss?

A study from the University of Minnesota measured vitamin D levels in 38 men and women before putting them on a low calorie diet. The results showed the higher the pre-diet vitamin D levels, the greater the weight loss, particularly weight around the middle. This kind of weight is notoriously hard to lose and is associated with insulin resistance.

Other researchers theorize that vitamin D deficiency contributes to insulin resistance, one of the primary causes of weight gain.

Taking a vitamin D supplement without changing your eating habits will not magically make the fat melt away. A 2008 study done in Norway gave vitamin D or a placebo (sugar pill) to 334 overweight people and found no significant weight loss difference in the vitamin D group at the end of 12 months.

However, keeping your vitamin D levels in an optimal range (50-70 ng/mL) can make your weight loss efforts more effective. Be aware that a level of 30 ng/mL is considered “adequate” on lab tests. Adequate does not equal optimal!

It’s important to know your level before starting supplementation as it is possible to overdo Vitamin D dosing. A general rule of thumb for supplementation is that it takes 1000 units to raise your level by 10 ng/mL.

If you’d like to know more about this, please contact me at info@drannagarrett.com. The weight control hormone testing package I offer includes 15 tests… one of which is a vitamin D level. It’s everything we need to map your hormone balance!

Anna Garrett

Over 40? Pounds not budging even with your best efforts to eat well and exercise? Registration is now open for Lose Fat Over 40, Dr. Ann's new 13-week weight loss program designed specifically for the challenges that women in midlife face with weight loss. Get program details at www.losefatover40.com.




ayomidealdred's picture

Right kind of food is very necesary

Very nice post! If you want to live your life in a better way than it is very important to take care about your daily diet because our daily diet is the main source of the vitamin and minerals for our body. It should be in a well manner means it should be in a balanced form. For the perfect diet you need to make sure that it should include more vegetables and more fruits.

Commander's picture

A ray of sunlight

Is vitamin D a vitamin or more of a sun hormone? Does our bodies make it or do we get it from the foods we eat. Studies have shown that vitamin D is a bone vitamin and that one would have to drink 100 cups of milk a day to keep from being D deficient.


Henry Lahore's picture

Yes, Vitamin D does reduce weight in some women

Here is the summary of a webpage on Obesity and Vitamin D
Overview Obesity and Vitamin D

- FACT: People who are obese have less vitamin D in their blood
- FACT: People who are obese need a higher dose of vitamin D to get to the same level of vitamin D in their blood
- FACT: When obese people lose weight the vitamin D level in their blood increases
- FACT: Adding Calcium, perhaps in the form of fortified milk, often reduces weight
- FACT: Adding vitamin D seems so good that there were 77 trials for vitamin D intervention of obesity as of Sept 2013
- FACT: Less weight gain by senior women with > 30 ng of vitamin D
- OBSERVATION: About 30% of obese quickly lose weight when they take >2000 IU of vitamin D and 750 mg Calcium
Women lose weight, men have not been tested
- SUGGESTION: Probably need more than 4,000 IU to lose weight if very low on vitamin D (high risk) due to
risk factors such as age, dark skin, very overweight, live far from equator, etc.

URL = http://www.vitamindwiki.com/tiki-index.php?page_id=710

Dr. Anna Garrett's picture

Thanks for sharing this Henry!

Very informative and helpful.

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