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Vitamin D Supplements May Help Patients Lose Weight

Italian study suggests that a daily pill may boost dieting efforts in those already low in the nutrient…

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According to an Italian team led by Luisella Vigna of the University of Milan, prior research has shown that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a higher risk of obesity and obesity-related complications. However, studies on the use of vitamin D supplements to curb obesity have so far been inconclusive.

The new study included 400 overweight and obese people with vitamin D deficiency who were put on a low-calorie diet and then divided into three groups. One group took no vitamin D supplements, while the two other groups took either 25,000 international units (IU) or 100,000 IU of vitamin D per month.

After six months, participants in both vitamin D supplementation groups had lost more weight and had greater reductions in their waistlines than those who hadn’t taken the supplements.

Previous studies have suggested that about 40 percent of North American adults are vitamin D-deficient.

Practice Pearls:

  • The researchers suggest that all overweight and obese people should have their vitamin D levels tested.
  • 40 percent of North American adults are vitamin D-deficient, according to the study.
  • This study does not suggest that everyone looking to lose weight should start taking large doses of vitamin D — or any other supplement.

European Congress on Obesity News Release, May 7 2015