Research indicates that Vitamin D may help people who undergo reduced-calorie diets lose weight successfully.
A study presented at the 91st Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society held in Washington D.C. links vitamin D with weight loss. It was presented that these two concepts have a linear relationship, based on experiments that were previously conducted.
However, Shalamar Sibley, MD, MPH, the lead author of the study and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota, admits that it is not yet clear whether inadequate vitamin D is a cause of obesity or if it is obesity that lowers vitamin D levels. He cautions that further work still needs to be completed in order to indicate the true nature of the connection.
Do Vitamin D Levels Affect Weight Loss?
The study sought to determine the relevance of the vitamin D levels of participants before a calorie-restricted diet was implemented. It aimed to see if these levels affected weight loss. The vitamin D contained in the blood of each of the 38 overweight men and women were measured before and after an 11-week diet plan. The diet that was prescribed to them allowed them to consume only 750 calories daily, which is lower than their needs. After the period, the fat distributions of participants were also taken note of through bone densitometry scans.
Vitamin D Deficiency Prevents Weight Loss – Results of the Study
The study revealed that most of the patients had low vitamin D levels to begin with. Vitamin D is a type of fat-soluble nutrient that is found in very few foods. It is usually obtained when ultraviolet rays trigger its production. Conveniently, it may also be taken through supplements.
The study showed that the relationship between the pre-diet vitamin D levels and the weight loss is linear. Every 1 ng/mL increase in 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, a pre-cursor molecule that is used as a measure of the amount of Vitamin D, resulted in a loss of almost half a pound. As the levels of vitamin D went higher, the decrease of abdominal fat in the weight loss participants also went higher.
Sibley warned that more research is needed on the phenomenon in order to fully maximize its potential in weight loss. The study does not conclusively say that the addition of vitamin D in diets can lead to a more efficient method of weight loss. According to Sibley, the findings still need to undergo even more controlled clinical trials in order to define the specific role of vitamin D.