Having enough vitamin D in the body is linked to 50 percent more weight loss, research shows.
Higher levels of vitamin D are associated with both greater weight loss and losing more belly fat.
People in the study who took vitamin D supplements dropped 19 pounds over a year in comparison to 12 pounds in a comparison group.
Another study has shown that people drinking more milk, which contains vitamin D and calcium, can even double weight loss.
The study included 218 overweight and obese women who had all tested positive for vitamin D deficiency.
One group took 2000 IU of vitamin D per day while taking part in a weight loss program.
The comparison group did the weight loss program, but did not take the vitamin D.
After 12 months, those whose vitamin D levels had reached a sufficient level lost 19 pounds.
This was compared to just 12 pounds weight loss in the comparison group.
Dr Anne McTiernan, study co-author, said:
“This suggests women trying to lose weight might want to have their D levels checked by their provider and replenish their vitamin D levels either through supplements or sun and then have their D levels rechecked after a few months to make sure they’ve risen to a healthy level.”
Taking vitamin D was also linked to a drop in inflammatory markers.
Dr Catherine Duggan, study co-author, said:
“An overweight person’s body is in a state of chronic inflammation and all of these inflammation proteins that the body produces can cause things like elevated risk for cancer and diabetes.
Vitamin D helped with that. It could make the condition of being overweight less stressful on the body.”
Around half the world’s population is deficient in vitamin D.
Foods that are rich in vitamin D include oily fish and eggs, but most people get their vitamin D from the action of sunlight on the skin.
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Mason et al., 2014).