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Taking supplements linked to better weight management

People who take supplements and get enough vitamins and minerals tend to weigh less and be less hungry than those who do not, according to several new studies.

In a vitamin/supplement study from the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers compared those who took supplements to those who did not and found that compared to men who did not take vitamins or supplements, men who took supplements weighed significantly less, had less body fat and had lower body-mass-index scores. Doctors noted similar—though not as significant—results for women. Women who took supplements reported they could better control the urge to eat and were less hungry than women who did not take supplements. There were 587 men and women, aged 20 to 65, in the study.

In a second part of the same study, 63 obese men and women who had not taken supplements for the past six months enrolled in a 15-week weight loss program and took a daily multi-nutrient supplement or a placebo. Both groups lost significant weight, but women who had taken supplements were less hungry before and after meals compared to placebo. Doctors believe that the women who did not take supplements felt hungrier because, when there are not enough vitamins and minerals, the body sends signals to the brain telling it to eat.

In a study of abdominal fat, researchers recruited 900 women, aged 40 to 60, and found that those who consumed less than 56 mg of vitamin C per day were 131% more likely to have too much belly fat than women who got more vitamin C. Women who consumed less than 398 mg of calcium per day were 30% more likely to have excess belly fat than women who got more calcium. Doctors noted that central belly fat is a risk factor for many diseases. 

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