Can Vitamin D help you lose weight?

We look at the official guidance on our need for Vitamin D, and the evidence on vitamin D and weight loss.

As most of us know, the body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors.  However some of us don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight for various reasons. NHS Choices recommends that you take a vitamin D supplement every day containing  400IUs (10mcg) (and not more than 4,000 IUs) of vitamin D throughout the year if you aren’t often outdoors.  If you are outdoors a lot then it recommends taking vitamin D only between October and early March.

Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods, but probably not enough to meet our daily needs. Sources include oily fish,red meat,liver,egg yolks and fortified foods. Interestingly, some countries fortify milk with vitamin D but this is not done in the UK.  Instead we advise people to take supplements.

What is the evidence for vitamin D and weight loss?

There does seem to be an association between having a high waist circumference and low levels of vitamin D as found in this recent study.  However it is not known whether the association is cause or effect.  For example perhaps slimmer people tend to spend more time outside walking.

Taking a vitamin D supplement will have other benefits as well as potentially helping with weight loss. A recent study has found a link between being low in vitamin D and increased risk of Diabetes II.

bottom line

It is certainly worth getting out and enjoying the sunshine every day. We would also suggest following NHS Guidance and taking a supplement if you don’t get out in the sun much.




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