Vitamin D levels in the body at the start of a low-calorie diet predict weight loss success, a new study found. The results, which suggest a possible role for vitamin D in weight loss, were presented this week at The Endocrine Society's 91st Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with obesity, but it is not clear if inadequate vitamin D causes obesity or the other way around.
In this study, the authors attempted to determine whether baseline vitamin D levels before calorie restriction affect subsequent weight loss. They measured circulating blood levels of vitamin D in 38 overweight men and women before and after the subjects followed a diet plan for 11 weeks consisting of 750 calories a day fewer than their estimated total needs. Subjects also had their fat distribution measured with DXA (bone densitometry) scans.
On average, subjects had vitamin D levels that many experts would consider to be in the insufficient range. However, the researchers found that pre-diet vitamin D levels predicted weight loss in a linear fashion.
For every increase of 1 ng/mL in level of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol-the precursor form of vitamin D and a commonly used indicator of vitamin D status-subjects ended up losing almost a half pound more on their calorie-restricted diet. For each 1-ng/mL increase in the active form of vitamin D, subjects lost nearly one-quarter pound (0.107 kg) more.
Additionally, higher baseline vitamin D levels (both the precursor and active forms) predicted greater loss of abdominal fat.
These results suggest the possibility that the addition of vitamin D to a reduced-calorie diet will lead to better weight loss.
Our main source of vitamin D is from sunlight. Exposing the skin to the sun's UVB rays for short periods of time triggers the synthesis of vitamin D.
The fact that Canadians don't produce enough vitamin D from sunlight from October through March - prompted the Canadian Cancer Society in June 2007 to recommend adults take 1000 IU of vitamin D per day in the fall and winter. Adults over 50, people with dark skin, those who don't go outdoors often, and those who wear clothing that covers most of their skin should take the supplement all year round.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.