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Vitamin D and Weight Loss: What the Research Says?

Vitamin D is a vital nutrient with various functions inside the body, such as boosting mood, immunity, calcium absorption, and bone strength. Besides these crucial functions, recent studies have shown that vitamin D may also aid in weight loss.

vitamin D and weight-loss diet
Several theories confirm the relationship between low vitamin D levels and obesity.

Can Vitamin D Help You Lose Weight?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which is one of the most effective nutrient for people on a low-calorie diet. It can help the body keep minerals like calcium while also preventing infection by boosting the immune system. Some studies show that obese people have lower serum vitamin D level than normal people. However, the precise role of vitamin D in weight loss is unknown. According to a research, vitamin D may help to reduce the formation of new fat cells in the body, which inhibit fat cell storage, reducing fat accumulation.

A 2011 study discovered that obese adults who took calcium and vitamin D supplements lost significantly more belly fat than those who did not. Weight loss requires a firm vision, positive attitude and mood. According to one study, sufficient vitamin D levels can prevent depression, which can lead to mood improvements. This is because it can increase serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter that influences everything from mood to sleep regulation. Serotonin can play a key role in appetite control by increasing satiety and decreasing calorie intake.

How to Get Vitamin D?

The sun provides your body with all the vitamin D it needs, but most people spend too much time indoors or live in areas where the sun is not always shining. In fact, vitamin D from the sun can circulate twice as long as vitamin D from food or supplements. Several factors affect the amount of vitamin D your body can produce from the sun, such as your skin type, age, geographic location, and clothing. For instance, the closer you live to the equator, the more vitamin D you will get from the sun. People with darker skin will spend more time in the sun developing vitamin D than those with lighter skin. This is because darker skin contains more melanin, a compound that can inhibit vitamin D production.

Certain types of clothing and sunscreen can also inhibit vitamin D production, while avoiding overexposure to sunlight is also important to prevent skin cancer. Aging may also play a role. As you get older, your skin’s ability to produce vitamin D decreases. While there is no formal recommendation, reports suggest that 8–15 minutes of daily sun exposure is enough to produce vitamin D. However, people with darker skin may need to wait longer. While the sun is the best source, you can also increase the VD levels by eating food, such as tuna, salmon, egg yolk, and fortified foods.

Related: 6 healthy vegetarian sources of vitamin D

Conclusion

Vitamin D can help in weight loss, maintain minerals such as calcium, and prevent infection by boosting the immune system. According to some studies, obese people have lower serum vitamin D levels than normal peoples. Several factors affect the amount of vitamin D your body can produce from the sun. These factors include your current health status, skin type, location, clothing, and age. Sometimes it is difficult to get enough vitamin D from food and the sun, so the health professionals usually recommend supplements. Vitamin D supplements up to 10,000 IU per day are safe. But if consumed in large quantities, it can be toxic and may cause hypervitaminosis D. It is best to consult your doctor before exceeding the daily limit of 4,000 IU.

References

  1. Vitamin D deficiency and depression in adults: Systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Psychiatry. 2013.
  2. 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.
  3. Vitamin D and adipogenesis: new molecular insights. Nutr Rev. 2008.
  4. Vitamin D decreases adipocyte lipid storage and increases NAD-SIRT1 pathway in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Nutrition. 2016.
  5. Vitamin D hormone regulates serotonin synthesis. Part 1: relevance for autism. FASEB J. 2014.
  6. What do we know about serotonin? J Cell Physiol. 2008.
  7. 5-HT(2C) receptor agonists and the control of appetite. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2012.
  8. The 2011 report on dietary reference intakes for calcium and vitamin D from the Institute of Medicine: what clinicians need to know. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011.
  9. Risk assessment for vitamin D. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007.
  10. Seasonal Changes in Vitamin D-Effective UVB Availability in Europe and Associations with Population Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D. Nutrients. 2016.
  11. Factors influencing vitamin D status. Acta Derm Venereol. 2011.
Naeem Durrani BSchttps://defatx.com/
I am a retired pharmacist, nutrition expert, journalist, and more. My interests include medical research, and the scientific evidence around effective wellness practices, which empower people to transform their lives.

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