Vitamin D plays a major role in weight loss, and a deficiency could be the reason you are unable to lose those extra pounds.
We get our Vitamin D through a process of natural production when we are exposed to sunlight. UV rays from the sun penetrate our skin where it reacts with cholesterol molecules to form Vitamin D. Sunlight is our main source of Vitamin D production. You can also get Vitamin D via nutrition or supplementation.
Vitamin D deficiencies are common due to our limited time outdoors, poor nutrition and the use of sunscreens which prevent Vitamin D production.
Vitamin D and its Role in Weight Loss
There is overwhelming evidence to prove that Vitamin D influences weight loss. A recent study showed that those who supplemented with 25,000 IU of Vitamin D lost an average of 8.4 pounds, while those who supplemented with 100,000 IU of Vitamin D lost an average of 11.9 pounds.
3 Ways Vitamin D helps with Weight Loss:
Fat Burning Effect
Vitamin D has a profound effect on fat. It is literally a fat burner. This fat burning effect comes from Vitamin D being able to cause a significant decrease in PTH (parathyroid hormone).
This decrease in PTH sets of a chain reaction that switches of genes that promote fat production and storage, and switches on genes that promote fat breakdown and the usage of fat for energy.
A decrease in PTH also stimulates our sympathetic nervous system which causes an increase in our metabolism which burns even more energy and stores less fat.
The overall effect is a reduction in total body fat which results in weight loss.
Hunger and Cravings
Hunger and cravings are major causes of weight gain. We all know about those irresistible cravings and hunger that ruin our best diet plans. Vitamin D can reduce hunger and cravings by increasing our insulin sensitivity.
Insulin is a major appetite suppressant and Vitamin D makes our bodies and minds more sensitive to the appetite suppressant effects of insulin. The result is a massive decrease in the feelings of hunger and cravings which helps us stay on track with our diets.
Vitamin D also plays a major role in calcium absorption from the gut. If you are deficient in vitamin d then you will most likely be deficient of calcium.
Calcium shares many of its fat burning and weight loss properties with Vitamin D.A deficiency in vitamin d and the subsequent calcium deficiency will have cost you the weight loss properties of both the vitamins.
In addition, calcium prevents the absorption of fat from the gut. This is a bonus effect that promotes fat loss via excretion.
How much Vitamin D do you Need?
The recommended dose is 400iu to 800iu however much higher doses are required to get all the additional benefits of Vitamin D.
Doses up to 4000iu daily can be taken safely, so most practitioners recommend 2000 to 4000iu daily.
3Ways to get More Vitamin D
Getting more full body sunshine is the easiest way to get more Vitamin D through natural production however this exposure needs to occur without sunscreen and that causes a major risk of skin cancer.
The other issue with too much sun exposure is accelerated aging. UV radiation from sun exposure is a guaranteed way to age your skin.
Standing in the midday sun for 10 minutes with arms and legs exposed and no sunscreen can generate about 10000iu of Vitamin D.
The next way to get vitamin D is via nutrition. Fish including, salmon, tuna, and mackerel all have decent levels of Vitamin D but none high enough to meet the requirements of 2000-4000iu.
There are also many foods that are artificially fortified with Vitamin D, like milk, butter, and cereals. There is a limited range of foods that are good natural sources of Vitamin D.
The most effective way to get the recommended dose of Vitamin D, is via supplementation. Your average Vitamin D supplement can have anywhere from 1000iu to 5000iu per capsule.
The benefits of Vitamin D to weight loss are undeniable and correcting a deficiency is an easy way to take advantage of its weight loss benefits.
Kam Moodley is a Pharmacist and Author who specializes in middle aged health and wellness. He helps people reach health and wellness goals on ThinHappy40.com