A number of connections exist between vitamin D and weight loss. The vitamin’s relationship with calcium can affect weight loss or gain, and people on calorie-reduction diets can benefit from adequate vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is available in many forms, including supplements.
Researchers have indicated there is a link between the body’s level of vitamin D and weight loss results for people on a calorie-restricted diets. According to the research, people with higher levels of vitamin D when beginning diets lose weight faster than those with vitamin D deficiencies. Higher levels of the vitamin also were linked to a greater loss of fat in the abdominal region.
Another connection between vitamin D and weight loss exists because of the vitamin’s relationship with calcium. Vitamin D and calcium work together to keep weight in a normal range. A calcium deficiency causes the body to produce more synthase, an enzyme that converts calories to fat. Vitamin D is a substance that helps the body absorb calcium, and if the body has sufficient calcium, it will produce less synthase. A smaller amount of synthase in the body means fewer calories are converted and stored as fat.
Two other functions of vitamin D are keeping the cardiovascular system healthy and helping with bone strength. Sufficient levels of the vitamin can protect the body against cardiovascular disease and help lower the risk of obesity and other risk factors for developing heart disease. Calcium strengthens bones, and vitamin D allows the bones to absorb calcium. These factors reinforce the link between vitamin D and weight loss, because cardiovascular health and bone strength are important when exercising.
It is a good idea to incorporate vitamin D in the diet through dairy products and vitamin-fortified foods, such as cereal. Sunlight is also a natural source of vitamin D, but diet and sunlight may not provide enough vitamin D to prevent a deficiency. Vitamin D supplements are inexpensive and are available at pharmacies and health food stores.
The relationship between vitamin D and weight loss is strong, but vitamin D should not replace a healthy diet and exercise. Including vitamin D in food, sunlight, and supplement form may help people lose weight, but eating a proper amount of nutrient-rich food is also important. Exercising is also imperative because it prevents calories from being converted to fat by using the calories for energy. Increasing vitamin D intake will quicken weight loss, but exercise and a healthy diet are also necessary.