By Nurse Mark
Vitamin D, once thought to have little more importance than for the prevention of rickets, is proving to be more valuable and even vital to our overall health and well-being with each passing day.
We have long maintained here at The Wellness Club that Vitamin D is far more than just a “vitamin” – it is actually a mis-named hormone with a wide-ranging variety of effects in our bodies.
Now it turns out that low Vitamin D levels are strongly associated with overweight and obesity, and that improving Vitamin D deficiency improves dieting success.
Dr. Shalamar Sibley, a researcher in the University of Minnesota Medical School conducted a clinical study that looked at the relationship between Vitamin D levels and obesity and the success of weight loss efforts and said:
“What is suggested here is that if you start out with an inadequate vitamin D level, it’s possible that this might inhibit or impede your ability to lose weight on a reduced caloric diet,”
The researchers found that pre-dieting Vitamin D levels predicted weight loss success and that for every increase of 1 ng/mL in level of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (the precursor form of Vitamin D) dieters lost almost a half pound more over the course of their diet. Further, for each 1-ng/mL increase in the active or “hormonal” form of Vitamin D (1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol), dieters shed nearly a quarter pound more.
The researchers also found that higher baseline vitamin D levels gave greater losses of abdominal fat.
“Our results suggest the possibility that the addition of vitamin D to a reduced-calorie diet will lead to better weight loss,” Dr. Sibley said.
So, what’s our take-home message from this?
Vitamin D deficiency is common in the US population. Overall, 41.6 % of Americans are Vitamin D deficient, and that number skyrockets to 82.1% of African Americans and 69.2% of Hispanics.
Obesity has become an epidemic in America – more than one in every 3 Americans are obese, and again Blacks and Hispanics are disproportionately affected.
Vitamin D testing is available and is relatively inexpensive for the valuable information that it provides. Please learn more about a simple at-home Vitamin D test here.
Vitamin D supplementation is cheap – mere pennies per day – and can be started while awaiting the results of your Vitamin D levels test. Learn more about inexpensive and effective optimal-dose Vitamin D supplements here.
Can we promise you that taking Vitamin D will help you lose weight?
Don’t be silly – of course we can’t promise that! You can only lose weight if you consume less energy (calories) than you need, forcing your body to turn to it’s “money in the bank” (fat stores) for energy.
But it is very clear from this research that Vitamin D deficiency plays a greater role in obesity that we ever suspected, and it is also quite clear that improving levels of Vitamin D leads to greater fat loss over the course of a weight-loss diet.
Finally, there is every other reason to ensure that your Vitamin D levels are plentiful – since Vitamin D deficiency is linked to many other health conditions, including high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, kidney disease, and a higher risk of cancer including breast and prostate cancers.
Causal Relationship between Obesity and Vitamin D Status: Bi-Directional Mendelian Randomization Analysis of Multiple Cohorts. Published: February 05, 2013DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001383
Vitamin D and weight loss, University of Minnesota, December 18, 2009
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