Vitamin D, commonly referred to as the “Sunshine Vitamin” is naturally produced in the body upon contact to sunlight. It promotes calcium absorption, and also helps maintain adequate levels of other important minerals in the body. Without it bones can become brittle, and the body can suffer in a variety of other ways. Vitamin D plays a role in cellular growth, immune function, neuromuscular function and also acts as an anti-inflammatory.
New research has revealed that Vitamin D not only supports strong, healthy bones and a healthy immune system, but it may also help increase calorie burn especially in the belly area. Researchers at the University of Minnesota did a clinical study of 38 people to see if a person’s level of vitamin D could actually be a predictor of that person’s ability to lose fat. According to Shalamar Sibley, a researcher involved in the study, results suggested that starting with an inadequate level of vitamin D, it’s possible that this might inhibit a person’s ability to lose weight on a reduced calorie diet.(1)
Although this Vitamin D study was simply an observational study, and there is no definitive relationship between vitamin D and weight loss, about 300 studies have been done in the past year on vitamin D and its abilities. Results have indicated that there may be a relationship between Vitamin D and weight loss due to the findings.
Watch this short study for more information on the study discussed in this article.
The Recommended Daily Intake or RDA for Vitamin D for adult women ages 19-70 years is 600 IU. (2) As always, it’s best to get your nutrients from whole natural foods. Foods that provide a good source of Vitamin D include:
- Cod liver oil
- Swordfish, cooked
- Salmon (sockeye), cooked
- Tuna fish, canned in water, drained
- Orange juice fortified with vitamin D, (check product labels, as amount of added vitamin D varies)
- Milk, nonfat, reduced fat, and whole, vitamin D-fortified,
- Yogurt, fortified with 20% of the DV for vitamin D, (more heavily fortified yogurts provide more of the DV)
- Sardines, canned in oil, drained
- Liver, beef, cooked
- Egg, 1 large (vitamin D is found in yolk)
- Ready-to-eat cereal, fortified with 10% of the DV for vitamin D, 0.75-1 cup (more heavily fortified cereals might provide more of the DV)
- Cheese, Swiss
Remember that there are also health risks associated with excessive Vitamin D intake including increased blood levels of calcium, heart damage and kidney damage. So try to keep your intake within the recommended range, and do not use any supplement or food to lose weight. Weight loss is requires a reduced calorie diet, and regular exercise.