Just when you thought you had heard all about Vitamin D, more research surfaces with compelling information. Vitamin D has been a hot topic in both conventional and alternative medicine lately because vitamin D is related to so many health concerns like diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, stroke, cancer (including breast cancer), heart disease and…drum roll….weight loss as well! Believe it or not, most of us are deficient in this very important nutrient – especially the elderly, people with darker skin and people who are overweight.
Our bodies make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. This very important nutrient is called a vitamin, but vitamin D is actually a precursor hormone that is a building block of a steroid hormone called calcitriol. Vitamin D has always been known for its role in the health of our bones and teeth but an amazing amount of research of late has been surfacing showing the surprising connection between vitamin D and the prevention of most chronic diseases.
Vitamin D promotes normal cell growth throughout your body, maintaining hormone balance and a healthy immune system. Vitamin D slows down the growth of fat cells as well. Calcitriol actually becomes part of the physical make-up of the cells. However, when Vitamin D is deficient, as it is in most of us, the cells are not able to behave properly and are vulnerable to these serious health issues including weight gain and obesity.
One study done in Britain (Aberdeen University Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, 2008) showed that people who were overweight had lower levels of vitamin D. The study found that low levels of vitamin D in the blood interfered with the function of a hormone called Leptin, which tells the brain when you are full. Researchers at Aberdeen University found that obese people produced 10% less vitamin D than people of average weight. The study also found that excess body fat absorbs vitamin D, stopping it from entering the blood stream.
Another Study in Britain (Ortega RM, Aparicio A, et al, Br J Nutr 2008) using 60 overweight/obese women aged 20-35 years that had adhered to a low calorie diet, showed that those with higher vitamin d levels lost more weight and fat.
Now, these are just two studies, and I obviously cannot go over the enormous amount of research out there, but suffice it to say, the conclusions are primarily the same – Vitamin D helps with weight loss and weight gain.
How does vitamin D help with weight loss?
As mentioned, extra body fat holds on to vitamin D so that the body cannot use it. This perceived deficiency interferes with the action of the hormone Leptin. If you are not able to recognize when you are satiated, you are more likely to overeat.
Taking Vitamin D in conjunction with Calcium, helps to properly assimilate food and regulate normal blood sugar levels. Not only do you need calcium to further your weight loss, but you will also need to trim the calories. Vitamin D is not a magic potion. So to ensure this “Vitamin” can work its magic, watch your food intake, exercise and take your vitamin D with Calcium for optimal success.
What is the recommended dosage?
Although current guidelines suggest a daily intake from 400-600 IUs, research is clearly showing that this is way too low. A dosage between 2,000 and 4,000 IUs a day will have a much more therapeutic effect, boosting your overall health, help in prevention of illness and chronic disease and promotion of fat loss. Supplement with Vitamin D3 not D2. D2 is a synthetic derivative and not easily absorbed.
Dr. Lori Shemek is Founder and CEO of DLS HealthWorks where she actively helps her clients create successful weight loss and optimum health – at every level of health. She is a Health Expert, Weight Loss Specialist, Speaker, Author. Dr. Shemek is an Health Expert for the #1 ABC Show “Good Morning Texas!”
Visit Lori at http://www.dlshealthworks.com/index.html