When people think of vitamin D’s health benefits, they might associate it with lowering the risk of osteoporosis. But one study suggests vitamin D may also be helpful for something else entirely—weight loss. Presented at the 2015 European Congress on Obesity, the study included 400 overweight or obese adults with vitamin D deficiencies. The participants all received a balanced, moderately-low-calorie diet and either 25,000 IU of vitamin D3 per month, 100,000 IU of vitamin D3 per month, or a placebo. At the beginning and end of the six-month study, researchers tested participants for a variety of health markers, including body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, weight, fasting glucose, and fasting insulin, among other things and found that:
Compared with the placebo group, both vitamin D groups had statistically significant decreases in weight and waist circumference.
The 100,000 IU vitamin D group had improvements in HbA1c levels, an indication of better long-term blood sugar control. However, the improvements weren't statistically significant after adjusting for weight lost during the course of the study.
Overall, the research is promising as it points to another possible application for vitamin D in the area of weight management. However, it's important to keep in mind that all of the participants were following a lower-calorie diet and were vitamin D deficient. More research is needed to understand whether vitamin D would have similar effects in individuals who follow a moderate-calorie diet and get adequate vitamin D.
Source: European Congress on Obesity