Vitamin D helps women lose more weight

It has become increasingly understood that many Americans do not get adequate levels of vitamin D in their diet. As a result, a large percentage of the population shows signs of being marginally deficient. Vitamin D insufficiency can manifest itself in several undesirable ways, including weight gain and other metabolic problems.

Previous studies have provided some evidence that vitamin D supplementation could promote weight loss and improve metabolic health, but the studies were small and inconclusive. Therefore, researchers tested whether vitamin D supplementation would affect weight loss and health in postmenopausal women enrolled in a weight-loss intervention.

Over 200 overweight or obese women between 50 and 75 years of age were enrolled in a 12-month behavioral weight loss program. They were randomized to vitamin D (2,000 IU/day) or a placebo group (no added vitamin D). Weight loss was similar in the two groups reaching about 8% of initial weight at 12 months. However, when the researchers took a closer look at their vitamin D levels, they discovered that women who increased their vitamin D levels above 32 ng/ml (considered by the researchers an optimal level), they lost more weight (-9.9% or 19 pounds) than those who did not (-6.2% or 12 pounds). The women with increased vitamin D levels also lost a higher percentage of body fat (-10.1%) than the ones who remained deficient (-5.5%).
The results emphasize the importance of correcting low vitamin D levels. In individuals who showed an increase in blood vitamin D levels to an optimal level, they had greater weight loss and improvements in body composition.


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