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Vitamin D And The Impact On Weight Loss

There’s more and more research coming out every month on the role Vitamin D plays in helping individuals maintain a healthy body weight.

Now let me start by saying I typically don’t read too much into studies where scientists isolate an individual vitamin in attempt to demonstrate some benefit in the human body.

This is what I often refer to as “nutrition-ism” where food manufacturers pay big bucks to a bunch of scientists to come up with research to show how adding a particular nutrient to a food can make it healthier.

This is pure B.S. in my opinion. The whole idea of “fortifying” or enriching foods with vitamins, minerals, and things like fiber can make low quality food products appear healthy when they’re anything but.

The only foods that are truly healthy are the ones in their natural state. There’s no denying that Vitamin C for example plays several important roles in the human body but it’s not isolated in nature. We get Vitamin C when we consume things like fruits and vegetables but it’s packaged up with a multitude of other phytonutrients.

Scientists can’t fully explain how all these phytonutrients work together but it’s obvious that they do. You eat fruits and vegetables and you improve your health, plain and simple.

This isn’t an argument against the idea of supplementation, which I still believe can be beneficial, it’s just we normally shouldn’t read too much into studies that claim a particular benefit of an individual vitamin or nutrient. Over-supplementing with an isolated vitamin or mineral can be just as bad as having a deficiency.

Having said all that, there is some really interesting research going on now in regards to Vitamin D that has caught my attention.

It’s worth paying attention to because there’s an alarming amount of Vitamin D deficiency going on in our society today. I think one of the reasons why is because it’s not like most of the other vitamins. For whatever reason it’s not assimilating very well when food manufacturers attempt to enrich foods by adding it in.

Even with poor dietary habits you don’t see many individuals with Vitamin C or Vitamin B deficiencies for example. When was the last time you heard of someone having beriberi or scurvy?

We can completely alter a food, break it down, and add vitamins and minerals back in and it appears to the body can assimilate some but not others.

Vitamin D is showing itself to not work very well when it’s fortified into a food. We need to be eating the natural foods like egg yolks, salmon, nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables for example to get it.

Obviously these aren’t foods in the standard American diet which is mostly comprised of processed and refined garbage.

To understand why Vitamin D is different we can start by looking at the fact it’s more than just a vitamin, it’s also a hormone, one that plays a role in a remarkable range of body processes.

In the past 20 years, researchers have found Vitamin D receptors on up to 40 different tissues, including the heart, pancreas, muscles, immune system cells, and the brain.

I think we’re going to hear a lot more about this vitamin in the months and years to come as scientists learn more about its role in the human body.

In regards to maintaining a healthy body weight, here’s what we already know.

1. Vitamin D helps you to eat less but feel more satisfied

When you have adequate Vitamin D levels, your body releases leptin, the hormone that sends the signal “we’re full, stop eating” to your brain. On the flip side, Vitamin D deficiency means less leptin and greater likelihood of over-eating.

One Australian study showed that people who ate a breakfast high in Vitamin D and calcium blunted their appetites for the next 24 hours. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to insulin resistance which as we know is precursor to type II diabetes and obesity.

2. Vitamin D helps you to store less fat

When you have enough Vitamin D in your bloodstream, fat cells slow their effort to make and store fat. When your levels are low it triggers parathyroid and calcitrol hormone levels to increase. In case you were wondering this is bad.

High levels of these hormones signal your body to store fat instead of burning it. One interesting Norwegian study I found showed that elevated parathyroid hormone levels increased a man’s risk of becoming overweight by an alarming 40 percent.

3. Vitamin D helps you to burn more fat- especially belly fat

Vitamin D is likely to help you lose more belly fat because it works with calcium to reduce the production of cortisol. As we know, cortisol is a hormone that promotes fat storage around your midsection as a result of increased stress and inflammation in the body.

4. Vitamin D helps you lose more weight

One particular study on Vitamin D found that a diet high in dairy helped people lose 70 percent more weight than a diet with the same number of calories but without high levels of Vitamin D and calcium.

Granted you don’t have to consume a ton of dairy to get the same benefits. It’s the combination of Vitamin D and calcium which is the key. Foods like cold water fish, egg yolks, nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables also provide a significant amount of both nutrients.

Bottom line

While there will certainly be more research to come on this subject here’s the take away with what we know now.

There’s no denying the recent trend of Vitamin D deficiencies in American children and adults. There’s also no denying the alarming increases in the rate of type II diabetes and obesity. Is there a connection? I would have to think there certainly is.

With what we do know about Vitamin D and the roles it plays in the human body it would be in everyone’s best interest to make sure they ate natural foods dense in both Vitamin D and calcium along with following a sensible approach with supplementation.

As I pick up on new research I’ll be sure to follow up and let you know what I find.

Shane Doll is a certified Charleston fitness trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts. With a staff of over 10 certified fitness professionals, Shaping Concepts provides personal fitness programs with a specialty on weight loss and body transformation. You can receive a FREE, no-obligations (2) session personal training trial and consultation to experience the difference for yourself.

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Category: Supplements.