You must be already aware of the sunshine vitamin in your body. It has always been recognised for its benefits, and its importance has only grown over time. Are you getting enough vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that your body absorbs and stores to stay healthy. It plays an important role in regulating many bodily functions and its major health benefits range from a more robust immune system to healthier, stronger teeth, muscles, and bones to prevent several diseases like heart failure, diabetes, and cancer.
But here’s the unfortunate part — according to the World Health Organization, nearly 50 percent of people worldwide are low in vitamin D. What’s more serious, vitamin D deficiency can contribute to various adverse health effects including fatigue, muscle pain, joint problems, low bone density, frequent infection, and hair loss. Surprisingly, research shows that vitamin D can also affect your weight!
Yes, your weight gain can be a major cause of vitamin D deficiency!
While research into low Vitamin D and weight gain is still in its early stages, many links have already been established. Research by the National Center for Biotechnology Information has shown body fat percentage and BMI (body mass index) may be linked to lower vitamin D levels in the blood.
Furthermore, the researchers from the VU University Medical Center and Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands, found that belly fat is linked with lower vitamin D levels in women.
Hence, the correlation between low Vitamin D and weight gain is unquestionable. But can vitamin D help you shed some weight and perhaps keep it off? Let’s find out!
Can increasing vitamin D help you lose weight?
Certain evidence from a series of recent studies is something which suggests that vitamin D supplementation can indeed improve your likelihood of losing weight and decreasing body fat.
In a 2014 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers compared twelve months of vitamin D3 supplementation with placebo in postmenopausal women in a weight loss intervention. At the end of the study, women who had adequate blood levels of vitamin D had lost more weight and body fat, thereby showing a greater reduction in waist circumference.
Another 2019 study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that boosting the levels of vitamin D intake may increase the likelihood of weight loss, while dieting and exercising. The researchers suggest that the relationship between low vitamin D and obesity is clinically significant.
Here’s how vitamin D helps in weight loss:
- Because the body processes vitamin D through the liver and sends it to the bloodstream, taking vitamin D for weight loss is one of the most promising ways to complement calorie restrictions. Plus, it can also reduce the formation of fat cells.
- Fatigue is one of the silent underlying contributors to weight gain. But vitamin D keeps your energy levels up and enhances your mood too.
- Vitamin D plays an important role in bone health by increasing the absorption of phosphorus and calcium. Low bone density is often related to low vitamin D levels, which can result in bone disorders like osteoporosis. This can make it difficult to lose weight or stay active. Therefore, increasing vitamin D intake is important if you really want to lose weight.
- Insulin causes weight gain when the cells absorb too much glucose and the body converts this into fat. But vitamin D can help counteract the effect of insulin resistance. Thus, it prevents weight gain.