How Vitamin D Improves Weight Loss

Vitamin D for Weight LossThough lifestyle as a whole is typically what dictates weight control, did you know that your vitamin D levels might also play a role in how easily you gain, lose or maintain? Of course, it’s important to point out that simply not getting enough sunlight isn’t enough to explain the obesity epidemic in our part of the world. However, the “sunshine vitamin” could be one of many factors influencing your challenges to reach your goals.

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?

With excessive inclination towards an indoor lifestyle, some estimates suggest that almost 70% people are deficient in vitamin D. The degree of those deficiencies varies widely, but it is an important consideration as the low levels of the sunshine vitamin could be influencing a spectrum of functions in our bodies.

A study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests healthy levels of this vitamin play a crucial role in weight loss, while obese individuals are generally deficient in it. Missing out on this letter could push the scale numbers higher with time.

How is it Related to Weight Loss?

When it comes to weight loss, it is believed the hypothalamus (the part of the brain which regulates hormonal functions) senses vitamin D levels and special receptors in the brain signal whether to burn the fat or store it. This nutrient’s receptors are found in more than 30 cell types.

A low level of this vitamin could trigger the receptors to discharge hunger stimulating hormones and increase the body weight set point. This vitamin also optimizes the absorption of other weight loss nutrients, especially calcium. Lack of calcium causes an increase in the fatty acid, synthase, the enzyme which converts calories to storable fat.

Should You Get More Vitamin D?

Replacing vitamin D if you are quite deficient could help to play a role in making it easier for you to lose weight. Of course, the degree to which you are deficient and the method you use to replace what is lacking will dictate how much of a difference it will make. If you’re not deficient at all or if the deficiency is extremely slight, then replacing it will not make an overwhelming difference to your weight loss.

Moreover, there is a great deal of controversy over the best method of replacing vitamin D. Supplements come in all shapes and forms, some of which are viewed as considerably more helpful than others. Direct sunlight is the most direct route to natural production within the body, of course, but not everyone lives in a place where it is readily available year-round, and even those who are, must remain careful because of the risk of skin cancer.

How Does it Support Weight Loss?

When you have adequate levels of vitamin D in your body, it causes the release of Leptin, the hormone which conveys the message of fullness to the brain and assuages your appetite. A deficiency is also linked to insulin resistance which leads to hunger stimulation. This nutrient helps you shed fat all over the body, but mostly above the belt (the most coveted zone).

Exposure to sunlight triggers the production of this nutrient inside your body. The best time to be out in the sun is morning and late afternoon, and due to hectic work schedules, we are not able to do so. The safest way to get sufficient vitamin D is through your diet. Your doctor could prescribe a simple test, a 25-Hydroxy test, to determine your blood vitamin level and make suggestions.

Where to Get Vitamin D in Food

Increase in the consumption of this vitamin could make your waistband a lot looser. Here are food sources rich in the D family of vitamins:

  • Breakfast cereal
  • Fish (Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel, swordfish)
  • Fish Cod oil
  • Dairy products (Margarine, eggs, milk, yogurt)
  • Beef, liver
  • Orange juice

Although this nutrient incorporates innumerable health benefits and the potential perks of magic weight loss, excessive vitamin D intake could lead to highly unwanted side effects. Since it is a fat-soluble vitamin, it is stored in the fat cells and high doses could lead to toxicity.  The specific toxicity level for the average person isn’t yet known, but it is commonly accepted that the upper limit for intake is 4,000 IU/day. If you are consuming supplements, it is prudent to get your levels checked periodically to keep the intake in check. Most doctors don’t recommend supplementing over 1,000 IU/day.

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