A supplement that has been gaining popularity for individuals seeking to lose weight is vitamin D. While we do naturally produce vitamin D from sun exposure, a large portion of us actually have chronically low levels of this important vitamin. In our article, we’re going to explain how vitamin D impacts weight loss. We will also offer four tips to help you use this supplement effectively and cover the disadvantages of vitamin D supplementation as well.
How Does Vitamin D and Weight Loss Work?
While not fully understood, there has been quite a bit of research that directly correlates vitamin D deficiency with an increased likelihood of weight gain. One theory is that low levels of vitamin D can significantly impact the proper functioning of core organs like the pancreas. With unstable levels of insulin and other crucial hormones, weight gain is often one of the unfortunate consequences.
While vitamin D deficiency may not sound like a big thing that would impact you, most studies estimate that as many as three-quarters of adults and teens in the United States are lacking this crucial vitamin. In addition to its potential impact on weight loss, this important vitamin also plays a key role in proper bone health.
This is particularly important for developing children as well as elderly individuals. For children, chronically low levels of vitamin D can lead to a condition known as rickets. In elderly individuals, it can lead to complications with conditions like osteoporosis. From preserving good bone health to potentially dropping unwanted pounds, upping your vitamin D intake has many great benefits.
How to Use Vitamin D for Weight Loss Effectively
Visit Your Doctor First
The first tip we will cover in our vitamin D and weight loss article is the importance of visiting your doctor first. Before starting any exercise or weight loss routine, you should always consult with your medical provider. If you’re concerned about a potential vitamin D deficiency, your doctor can order a blood test to see what your current levels are.
In addition to ensuring you are receiving a proper diagnosis, these blood tests often check the levels of several other important vitamins and minerals. This will allow you and your doctor to decide which supplements will benefit you the most.
Vitamin and Food Pairings Matter
The second tip that is worth mentioning in our article on vitamin D and weight loss focuses on the importance of vitamin and food pairings. Iit is true that you can take vitamin D on an empty stomach. However, you can significantly improve the absorption ratio of the vitamin by taking it with the right types of foods.
The reason for this is that vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. With this in mind, try to take your vitamin D supplement with your largest fatty meal of the day. However, you should still pay careful attention to your portion size and total calories since weight loss is your primary goal.
A Quality Vitamin Is Key
Our third tip in our vitamin D and weight loss article focuses on vitamin quality importance. Just like any supplement, you should make sure that your vitamin D comes from a reputable manufacturer. It’s important to note that supplements are not regulated in the same way as traditional medicines by the FDA.
With that fact in mind, try to stick with vitamin D supplements that are tested by a third-party laboratory. You should also make sure that your product has a safety seal on the inside of the cap as well as on the outside for added protection. By doing this, you decrease your chances of purchasing an adulterated supplement.
More Isn’t Better
Our last tip for vitamin D and weight loss is to always remember that more isn’t necessarily better. You should always start with the lowest dose possible to achieve healthy levels of vitamin D as established by your medical provider. Remember, the goal of supplementation is to fill the gap from nutritional sources of the vitamin, not to replace it.
In some instances, too much vitamin D can actually be problematic. The condition most commonly associated with too much vitamin D is known as hypercalcemia. Though not common, this condition can lead to unpleasant side effects like nausea, vomiting, and frequent urination. Treatment is fairly straightforward and most individuals recover without any lasting issues.
The Disadvantages of Vitamin D and Weight Loss
Though vitamin D can help with weight loss, it’s important to understand its main disadvantages. As mentioned above, taking too much vitamin D can actually lead to a condition known as hypercalcemia. While not usually life-threatening, this condition can be quite painful. Remember, it is entirely avoidable by not exceeding the recommended vitamin D daily allotment established by your doctor.
In addition, vitamin D supplementation has not been shown to be effective in weight loss for individuals who are not deficient in it. This is part of the reason that you should always see a medical professional first before beginning supplementation. With their help, you can get a blood test done that will show what your current levels are for vitamin D and several other important vitamins and minerals.
Furthermore, there are certain conditions that excessive vitamin D supplementation can negatively impact. One of the most common examples is individuals with weakened kidneys. With that fact in mind, always talk with your medical provider for beginning this or any other supplement program.
For many individuals, being deficient in vitamin D can lead to increased weight gain and a wide variety of other conditions. This is why many medical experts recommend supplementing your diet with a high-quality vitamin D supplement. However, you should always remember to talk to your doctor first. By including their input in your decision, you can rest easy knowing you are making the best decision that will positively impact your health.