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Information on the latest vitamin D news and research.

Find out more information on deficiency, supplementation, sun exposure, and how vitamin D relates to your health.

Vitamin D and risk of CVD in overweight women

One of the most replicated findings in vitamin D research is that the higher your vitamin D, the less you weigh; the lower your vitamin D, the more you weigh. Conventional wisdom says that fat-soluble vitamins, like D, dissolve themselves in fat and disappear from the blood.

Another explanation is even simpler: if you dissolve a teaspoon of sugar in a glass of water, it will be sweeter than if you dissolve it in a quart of water. That is, anything (vitamin D) dissolved in a limited mass (fat) will be more concentrated.

Body weight and vitamin D blood levels

But what about the possibility of vitamin D playing a causative role, not just an associative role, in obesity and body mass? That is, to a limited extent, does vitamin D act like a diet pill? Last week, Dr. Selehpour of the Tehran University of Medical Sciences found some interesting results in her randomized controlled trial.

Salehpour A, Shidfar F, Hosseinpanah F, Vafa M, Razaghi M, Hoshiarrad A, Gohari M. Vitamin D3 and the risk of CVD in overweight and obese women: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Nutr. 2012 Feb 9:1-8. [Epub ahead of print]

In this RCT of 77 overweight women, they gave half a small dose of vitamin D (1,000 IU/day), and half a placebo. In just 12 weeks, the vitamin D group had lost five more pounds than the control group. They also found improved scores in lipoprotein/cholesterol ratios for better heart health in the vitamin D group verses the placebo. Which brings some readers to a question: “If I want to diet, how much vitamin D should I take?”

First, 5,000 IU/day is for otherwise healthy adults weighing average adult weight (125-200 pounds). If you’re above this weight, however, 32 IU per pound per day is a good rule of thumb (as reported in the “Body weight and vitamin D blood levels” blog above. This means that a 300lb person would need 10,000 IU/day, though it wouldn’t surprise me if they needed more. Only way to know is to test blood levels. As your weight decreases, it is important to reduce your dose.

I doubt vitamin D is a classic diet pill. It may work by increasing your activity as your “get up and go” is back. Just lying on the sofa popping vitamin D pills will get you nowhere, however. Follow that urge to take the walk, clean out the garage, and take that weekend trip.

  About: John Cannell, MD

Dr. John Cannell is founder of the Vitamin D Council. He has written many peer-reviewed papers on vitamin D and speaks frequently across the United States on the subject. Dr. Cannell holds an M.D. and has served the medical field as a general practitioner, emergency physician, and psychiatrist.

3 Responses to Vitamin D and risk of CVD in overweight women

  1. Yet again a study shows that some obese people drop weight quickly with vitamin D.
    See the blog post at VitaminDWiki.
    There is extremely little risk in seeing if you are approximately 1 in 3 people who will drop weight quickly with vitamin D. A total of just $1.00 worth of vitamin D taken weekly for a month might be a long enough experiment.

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  2. “I doubt vitamin D is a classic diet pill. It may work by increasing your activity as your “get up and go” is back.”

    I have found this to be correct. I have lost no weight taking 5000iu D3 over one year now. I really need to and I hope to, but so far nothing.

    It has helped with my energy and well-being. I have tried to get a cold and it stopped, so glad. It helps me feel better! /

    I do have a question, I would love to have an answer.

    Sometime after beginning Vitamin D3 I developed A Fib last March. Does this cause the A Fib? Do some people get it and others do not? I read something to this fact.

    My levels are at 67. I want to get them to the high 70’s to see if it helps even more with RA, FMS and Osteo pain. So far it does, I’m just concerned about the A Fib.

    I also have low O2 in the low 80’s when I sleep, I’m now on Oxygen when I sleep. What is happening to my body????

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