A recent study led by Dr. Luisella Vigna of the University of Milan found that vitamin D supplementation resulted in weight loss in obese and overweight people who are vitamin D deficient.
Prior research has found that low vitamin D levels are associated with obesity. However, whether vitamin D supplementation leads to weight loss has not been thoroughly investigated.
Vigna and colleagues conducted a study to provide insight on vitamin D’s role in weight loss. They recruited 400 obese or overweight adults and divided them into three groups: those who did not take supplements, those who took 25,000 IU of vitamin D per month and those who took 100,000 IU of vitamin D per month. All participants were put on the same low-calorie diet.
After six months, only those who took 100,000 IU per month achieved sufficient vitamin D status. Both groups who supplemented with vitamin D experienced a significantly greater weight decrease and reduction in waist circumference compared to the group who did not supplement.
Those who supplemented with 25,000 IU lost an average of 8.4 pounds, while those who supplemented with 100,000 IU lost an average of 11.9 pounds. The participants who did not supplement with vitamin D lost an average of 2.6 pounds.
Those who took 25,000 IU lost an average of 4.00 cm from their waist, those who took 100,000 IU lost an average of 5.48 cm from their waist and those who did not supplement lost 3.21 cm.
The researchers concluded,
“The present data indicate that in obese and overweight people with vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D supplementation aids weight loss and enhances the beneficial effects of a reduced-calorie diet.”
The researchers continued,
“All people affected by obesity should have their levels of vitamin D tested to see if they are deficient, and if so, begin taking supplements.”