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Weight loss faster with vitamin D

'Our results suggest the possibility that the addition of vitamin D to a reduced-calorie diet will lead to better weight loss', says Dr Shalamar Sibley of the University of Minnesota. 'Our findings need to be followed up by the right kind of controlled clinical trial to determine if there is a role for vitamin D supplementation in helping people lose weight.'

Sibley presented her research results at the Endocrine Society's 91st Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. Worth noting: her study was not financed by a diet supplements manufacturer, but by the National Institutes of Health (the biggest public subsidy giver for the US health sciences) and the University of Minnesota, Dr Sibley's employer.

For her research Sibley put 38 obese subjects on an 11-week diet, in which they were given 750 calories less than they burned each day. Before the experiment started Sibley measured the amount of vitamin D her subjects had in their blood. At the end of the eleven weeks Sibley looked at whether there was a relationship between the concentration of vitamin D and the rate at which the subjects had lost weight. And, indeed, there was, as you've probably read on a number of science websites.

For every nanogram of vitamin D3 or 25-OH vitamin D that the researchers found in a millilitre of the subjects' blood, the subjects lost two hundred grams more. That comes down to a kilogram more for every five nanograms. The relevance of this effect is shown in the figure below. This comes from another study and shows how the concentration of vitamin D3 fluctuates over a period of one year.

Weight loss faster with vitamin D

Vitamin D3 is found in high-quality supplements and in animal products, the skin manufactures vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.

We should all really have between fifty and eighty nanograms of vitamin D3 per millilitre in our blood, but the average is no more than twenty. If the average Westerner pushes their vitamin D level up to this level, then they would lose six to ten kilograms more during a diet like the one Sibley used.

Sibley's test subjects lost their extra fat in the abdominal area. And it also seems that the vitamin supplement helped to maintain muscle tissue: although the subjects that had more vitamin D3 in their blood lost more weight, they did not lose more muscle mass. So everything extra you lose from being 'topped up' with vitamin D comes off your fat reserves.

Vitamin D3 is a precursor of 1.25-dihydroxy vitamin D. the vitamin D analogue that is active in the human body. It's also called calcitrol. For every extra nanogram of calictrol in a millilitre of blood, the test subjects lost three hundred grams more while on the diet.

But there's no hard evidence yet of the slimming effect of vitamin D. Maybe the relationship is the reverse, Sibley has suggested herself. Maybe people with a tendency to obesity have a lower vitamin D level. And if that's the case, you won't lose weight faster by taking vitamin D.

We at Ergo-log were not deterred and decided immediately to try more vitamin D. A six-pack is worth the gamble.

Source: 12-Jun-2009.

Vitamin D speeds up fat breakdown during weight loss 09.09.2008