Vitamin D is a vital micronutrient that has several health benefits, such as an improved immune system and the provision of healthy bones.
Recent studies have also indicated that Vitamin D can help one lose weight. In this article, we are going to look at the effects of Vitamin D on weight loss. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be acquired from foods that are rich in Vitamin D or supplements.
The body can also synthesize it upon exposure to sunlight. The vitamin performs several roles in the body, such as boosting the performance of the immune system, maintaining healthy bones and teeth, as well as the absorption of calcium and phosphorus into the blood.
Vitamin D is not found naturally in many foods. As a result, most health experts recommend a daily sun exposure to enable the body to synthesize Vitamin D. The vitamin can also be obtained by taking a supplement to attain the recommended daily intake of 600 IU.
Vitamin D And Weight Gain
Some studies have concluded that the lack of sufficient levels of the vitamin in the body could even contribute to weight gain. According to scientists, deficiency of Vitamin D in the body is also related to the development of lipid deregulation and metabolic diseases.
Several biological processes in the body rely on the presence of Vitamin D. Its deficiency will affect all sorts of various aspects of health and the body.
The most common role played by Vitamin D involves the facilitating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus into the blood. The lack of the vitamin has also been attributed to the deposition of calcium to the adipose tissue. The result is a decrease in lipid oxidation which may cause weight gain in an affected individual.
Another study claims that overweight individuals may expose less skin to the sun and as a result, they do not get sufficient sunlight that is needed for the synthesis of Vitamin D. There are enzymes that are required to convert Vitamin D into its active form and the availability of these enzymes may differ between an obese individual and a non-obese one.
According to a study that was performed in 2012, when an adjustment of Vitamin D levels is made according to body size, there is no difference between an obese and a non-obese individual.
The study revealed that the Vitamin D needs of a person correlate with body size. People who are overweight need more Vitamin D supplementation than those with a normal body weight, which partly explains why obese individuals are more likely to be Vitamin D deficient.
Theoretically, a loss in body weight should indicate a reduction in the levels of Vitamin D available in the body. However, the actual vitamin levels would escalate since the amount of the vitamin in the body remains the same when an individual loses weight.
A study revealed that even a small amount of weight loss could result in a mild increase in the blood levels of Vitamin D in the body. Participants who lost at least 25% of their body weight experienced an increase in Vitamin D that is three times greater than that seen in those who lost 10% of their body weight. There is also evidence showing that increasing the levels of Vitamin D in the blood can also reduce the levels of body fat and even boost weight loss.
Vitamin D And Weight Loss
Studies have consistently linked Vitamin D to weight loss. Several studies have shown that the addition of Vitamin D rich foods to the diet can lead to a mild weight loss. Individuals who include foods that are high in Vitamin D in their diet often lose more weight than those that do not consume foods that are rich in the Vitamin D.
The results of weight loss with Vitamin D tend to be more prominent when it is taken in combination with calcium. Some researchers have studied the effect of combining Vitamin D and with calcium, which have concluded that the combination of Vitamin D and calcium contributes to the reduction of fat in the abdomen.
Other studies have suggested that Vitamin D can aide in stopping the development of adipose tissue, which refers to the cells that are responsible for the storage of fats in the body. Some studies have also suggested that high amounts of fats in the body may indicate low levels of Vitamin D.
According to these studies, the adipose tissue stores the vitamin, making it less effective within the body. However, this is more commonly seen in women than men and is also correlated to visceral fat.
Yet another study revealed that Vitamin D increases the levels of serotonin in the body. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates both sleep and mood. It also takes part in appetite regulation, and it can enhance satiety and lower body weight. The neurotransmitter also decreases calorie intake.
Higher levels of Vitamin D in the body can also be linked to higher levels of the testosterone hormone, as higher levels of the hormone can trigger weight loss. A study was conducted in 2011 with the objective of finding the effects of Vitamin D supplementation with the availability of testosterone in the body.
A group of 165 men were put on either Vitamin D supplements or placebo for one year. The study concluded that individuals that were given the Vitamin D supplements experienced an increase in the testosterone levels compared to those that were given a placebo.
Most studies have demonstrated that high levels of testosterone in the body can lower body fat. The hormone promotes weight loss by boosting the process of metabolism. The hormone also encourages the body to burn more calories after eating.
How Much Vitamin D Does The Body Need?
According to health experts, adults who fall between the age of 19 and 70 years should take 600 IU of Vitamin D per day. The amount is equivalent to 15 mcg per day. However, according to some studies, the dose for supplementation should be based on the weight of an individual instead of the individual's age.
A study adjusted Vitamin D levels needed according to the body size and concluded that a patient might require 32-36 IU per pound to maintain adequate levels. However, the dose may be higher than the recommended upper limit of 4,000 IU per day, depending on the patient's body weight. A study revealed that doses up to 10,000 IU per day do not have any adverse effects in some individuals.
Sources Of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is synthesized by the skin and the process of its synthesis requires exposure of the skin to sunshine. The UV radiation produced by the sun is the best natural source of Vitamin D. However, too much exposure to the ultraviolet can be harmful to the skin, which can increase the chances of developing skin cancer.
2. Eat Sufficient Calcium
Studies have shown that Vitamin D works together with calcium to promote healthy bones and teeth. It is advisable to consume calcium by including a variety of dairy products, fish, tofu, and Brazilian nuts in the diet.
3. Eat Foods That Are High In Vitamin D
Some of the best sources of Vitamin D include fatty fish, eggs, and liver. The fatty fish that is high in Vitamin D include salmon, mackerel, and herring. Margarine and low-fat milk are also rich in the vitamin.
However, food makes a slight contribution to the body's overall levels of Vitamin D. It's hard to get adequate Vitamin D solely from food alone.
Fish oils are the best supplements for Vitamin D. However; there are some factors to consider before when selecting supplements in the market:
- It is advisable to read the label to check the source and origin of the supplement. Use the information available on the label to make the decision on whether to purchase the supplement or not.
- Always go for the supplements from a reputable company. The company should guarantee you a high quality supplement that is available in an appropriate quantity.
- Purchase supplements that have approval from relevant bodies, such as the Food and Drug Administration. However, if they do not have an approval, it does not necessarily mean that they are unsuitable for consumption.
- Approval by the relevant body indicates that the supplement has been tested and proven to meet some standards.
- Always consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking any Vitamin D supplements.
- The supplements may not be suitable for you if you have some health complaints, concerns, or certain health conditions.
Vitamin D Weight Loss Conclusion
There is a clear relationship between the levels of Vitamin D and weight loss. Eating enough Vitamin D can help to keep the hormone levels in check and as a result, promote weight loss and reduce body fat.
Studies have also shown that weight loss can increase the levels of Vitamin D in the body. The increase in Vitamin D maximizes its other benefits, such as promoting healthy bones and teeth and protecting the body against the development of illnesses.