The vitamin that helps take off extra pounds

A weight-loss study in Italy shows that if you’re trying to lose weight, a simple nutrient may mean the difference between frustration and a slimmer waistline.

A study of about 400 dieters out of the department of preventive medicine at University of Milan shows that if you are overweight or obese and trying to lose weight, you should probably be taking vitamin D supplements.

According to the researchers: “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 Italian researchers divided the 400 overweight dieters (who were all vitamin D-deficient) into three groups. During the six months of dieting, the first group took no supplements, the second took 25,000 IU of vitamin D (cholecalciferol) a month and the third took 100,000 IU per month. Everybody in the study ate a low-calorie diet.

The researchers say that only the people taking 100,000 IU of vitamin D a month got enough vitamin D to alleviate their deficiency. They also slimmed their waistlines the most – by about 2.1 inches. The group getting 25,000 IU of vitamin D slimmed, on average, by about 1.6 inches. The folks who didn’t take supplements reduced their waistlines by 1.3 inches.

The researchers state: “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,”

As we’ve pointed out before, odds are you don’t get enough. And, as Dr. Michael Cutler explains here, this nutrient conveys a wealth of health benefits, which might explain its benefit for weight loss.

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Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.