Our body needs the vital vitamin D above all to regulate calcium levels and maintain bone health. However, recent studies suggest a previously lesser-known effect of the sun vitamin: the link between vitamin D deficiency and weight gain.
The findings of these studies now raise a number of interesting questions:
How exactly is vitamin D and weight related?
Can weight gain be prevented by taking vitamin D?
Can vitamin D even help you lose weight?
We have researched and summarized all the answers here for you.
What does vitamin D have to do with unwanted weight gain?
Actually, it sounds too good to be true: Take some vitamin D and the excess pounds melt away. But can this really work?
The fact is that even science cannot yet answer this question exactly. While studies suggest that the vitamin affects our weight, how and why is not yet entirely clear.
It is also a fact that the interactions between vitamins and our body are extremely complex. This is no different with vitamin D. To answer whether taking vitamin D can really affect body weight, we must first look at the different relationships between weight and vitamin D in general.
So what are the connections ?
Vitamin D deficiency and weight gain
Overweight people often have comparatively low vitamin D levels. Although a connection seems obvious here, it is not entirely clear which of the two factors is cause and what is effect.
After all, it is quite obvious that people who are overweight go to the sun less often and thus produce less vitamin D. In addition, it is assumed that they develop an increased need for vitamin D due to their increased body fat percentage. The lack of vitamin D could therefore only be a natural consequence of obesity.
On the other hand, fatigue, exhaustion and depression to depression are among the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. They all cause people to move less and their metabolism to be slowed down. In this case, the deficiency could contribute as a decisive factor to obesity.
Vitamin D and hormones
Vitamin D affects a whole range of hormones in the body. According to a scientific article published in 2014 in a journal of experimental biology, vitamin D boosts the synthesis of serotonin . One of the effects of the so-called happiness hormone is also an increased feeling of satiety after eating as well as control over appetite.
In addition, vitamin D is thought to also raise testosterone levels . The sex hormone can help build muscle and boost metabolism.
But that’s not all. Vitamin D also controls the level of leptin in the blood. Among other things, this hormone is there to signal to the body when it has eaten enough and is full. People who suffer from severe obesity develop resistance to the action of this hormone, which could be compensated by vitamin D.
Vitamin D and fat metabolism
In general, most of the cells of our body have vitamin D receptors. Since these receptors can also be used to regulate fat metabolism, there is an assumption that vitamin D could play a role here. However, there are no exact studies on this yet.
So is it possible to lose weight with vitamin D?
Even if the scientific background has not yet been clarified, vitamin D is clearly closely related to weight. But how can you use this for yourself?
Can you even lose weight if you are overweight by simply taking vitamin D?
Well, it’s not that simple. But there is evidence that vitamin D can at least help you lose weight.
Researchers at the University of Washington, for example, investigated this when they dieted more than 200 overweight women between the ages of 50 and 75 for a study in 2014. Half of them received vitamin D supplements in addition to a low-calorie diet and an exercise program.
The results are interesting: While no evidence was found that the group with vitamin lost weight faster, it was found that weight loss was significantly stimulated with the administration of vitamin D and an already existing vitamin D deficiency.
A similar study from Iran came to similar conclusions in 2018.
Much more decisive and effective than taking vitamin D to lose weight is therefore perhaps to ensure that a vitamin D deficiency is compensated or does not occur at all.
Prevent weight gain: How to recognize a vitamin D deficiency
The safest way to check your vitamin D levels is still medical advice. If there is a suspicion of an undersupply, a blood test can provide clarity.
The common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency may include:
- Muscle and limb pain
- Hair loss
- increased susceptibility to infections
- Depression to depression
- Bone pain and deformations on the bones
If you suffer from obesity and plan to lose a few kilos, you should pay even more attention to getting enough vitamin D. Because even if vitamin D is not a miracle cure, it can help you lose weight, especially in the event of a deficiency.
However, also keep in mind that too much vitamin D is harmful. Taking high amounts of the nutrient for prevention without a reason is therefore not a good idea.
The real miracle cure is therefore, as always, medical advice.
Losing weight is not everything
The studies on vitamin D show once again that losing weight alone is usually not the right answer to health problems. Often a weight problem is either based on certain factors or obesity causes harmful deficits in the body in the long term.
An adequate supply of vitamin D as well as other important nutrients should therefore be a top priority to provide your body with all the tools it needs to lose weight sustainably.
Combined with a healthy lifestyle and sufficient exercise, nothing stands in the way of your ideal weight.