There are no magical vitamins and minerals available that promote weight loss. Most of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients your body need should come from a well-balanced diet. But if you’re on a restricted diet, adding a few vitamins will make sure your body function properly during the weight loss process.
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is important, especially for people on a calorie-restricted diet. It can help the body keep minerals such as calcium and prevent infection by boosting your immune system. Your body can get vitamin D from the sun, yet most individuals are spending too much time indoors or living in environments where there is no sun for weeks and months. It is also hard to get sufficient VD from the diet alone. Though health experts often suggest VD supplements.
According to some studies, adequate levels of vitamin D can help avoid depression. For an efficient diet, a positive mood is also essential to promote weight loss. Researchers have noticed that serum vitamin D levels in obese people are lower than normal people. However, the precise function of weight loss and vitamin D remains unknown. A research conducted in 2011 discovered that obese adults taking supplements with calcium and vitamin D lost considerably more belly fat than individuals without supplements. (1, 2)
Vitamin D helps the body keep minerals such as calcium and can help prevent infection by boosting the immune system. Research has discovered that obese adults who took calcium and vitamin D supplements lost more belly fat.
2. B Vitamins
B vitamins are popular among people looking to lose weight. Some even claim that vitamin B can fight fatigue, increase energy levels, and speed up your metabolism. The B vitamins are:
- thiamine (B-1)
- riboflavin (B-2)
- niacin (B-3)
- pantothenic acid (B-5)
- pyridoxine (B-6)
- biotin (B-7)
- folate (B-9)
- cobalamin (B-12)
These vitamins are crucial for metabolism to work. The primary role of B vitamins is to help metabolize macronutrients in your body and to generate energy. For example, thiamine (B-1) helps carbohydrates to be converted into energy by the body cells. To put it another way, a low level of one or more of these vitamins and minerals implies that your metabolism will not work properly. This makes it even more difficult to lose weight. Some foods are also rich in B vitamins, such as lean meat, milk, eggs, beans, and lentils. Vegan people are usually at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency because plant-based foods contain less to no B12. (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
The B vitamins are found in foods such as lean meat, milk, eggs, beans, and lentils. Vegans are more likely to be deficient in vitamin B12 because plant-based foods contain no B12.
The body needs magnesium to produce energy. It functions as a cofactor in over 300 enzyme responses, meaning its presence is essential for the activity of an enzyme. Magnesium is accountable for a variety of body processes, such as blood pressure, bone health, blood glucose, and nervous system. For instance, it may increase insulin sensitivity in obese people, which can help you burn body fat. For many people, it is hard to accomplish the dietary reference intake from an ordinary diet. Therefore, taking magnesium supplement can guarantee that you get enough of it. Food sources that can provide magnesium include nuts, seeds, legumes, and leafy green vegetables. (9, 10, 11)
Magnesium handles several bodily functions, including blood pressure, bone health, blood glucose, and nervous system.
Iron is an important mineral for the body energy production. It helps by transporting oxygen to all of your body’s cells, including your muscles, that can enable your body to lose weight. People with iron deficiency experience symptoms such as fatigue and low energy. In worst cases, it can lead to anemia, which is a life-threatening disease. Women who experience heavy menstrual periods and individuals who donate blood are more likely to suffer from iron deficiency.
If you are in a greater danger of iron deficiency, discuss it with your doctor. Food that contains iron includes lean meat, shellfish, beans, and spinach. Your body absorbs iron found in meat that is better than the plant-based iron. If you have not accurately replaced meat with another source of iron, you might be deficient in iron. Eating foods rich in iron and vitamin C can enhance its absorption and promote weight loss. (12)
Iron is a mineral that is essential for the body’s energy production. Eating foods high in iron and vitamin C can help with iron absorption and weight loss.
5. Green tea extract
Green tea is not a vitamin or mineral technically, but it is one of the few supplements worth a try. It can boost energy expenditure and fat oxidation and decrease the absorption of fat. Green tea extract contains strong flavonoid antioxidants known as catechins. There is also a good dose of caffeine in green tea. Studies discovered that caffeine in combination with catechins substantially improved energy expenditure. One research conducted in 2012 discovered that green tea supplements in obese people lowered body weight by an average of almost 2 pounds compared to placebo. Green tea extract is safe, but doctors recommend taking the extract with food to minimize potential hazards. (13, 14)
Catechins are powerful antioxidants found in green tea extract. Green tea extracts may reduce body weight by nearly 2 pounds.
Vitamins and minerals can help you provide the energy you need to handle stress, maintain a favorable mood, and decrease fatigue during the weight loss process. However, without changing how much you exercise and how many calories you eat each day, you won’t lose any weight. The foundation for long-term weight loss is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. The best way is to discuss with your doctor before starting any supplementation or weight-loss diet.
- Vitamin D deficiency and depression in adults: Systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Psychiatry, (2013).
- Calcium and vitamin D supplementation is associated with decreased abdominal visceral adipose tissue in overweight and obese adults. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2012.
- Green tea for weight loss and weight maintenance in overweight or obese adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012.
- Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss. NIH.
- Low Vitamin B12 and Lipid Metabolism: Evidence from Pre-Clinical and Clinical Studies. Nutrients. 2020.
- Inverse Association Between Serum Vitamin B12 Concentration and Obesity Among Adults in the United States. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2019.
- Association of vitamin B12 with obesity, overweight, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, and body fat composition; primary care-based study. Med Glas (Zenica). 2013.
- Higher magnesium intake is associated with lower fasting glucose and insulin, with no evidence of interaction with select genetic loci, in a meta-analysis of 15 CHARGE Consortium Studies. J Nutr. 2013.
- Magnesium metabolism and its disorders. Clin Biochem Rev. 2003.
- Treatment of iron deficiency anemia induces weight loss and improves metabolic parameters. Clin Ter. 2014.
- Catechin- and caffeine-rich teas for control of body weight in humans, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 98, Issue 6, December 2013.