The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the pandemic has gone up, yet it is the most underrated nutritional deficiency, widespread in individuals irrespective of age, gender and geography.
The sunshine vitamin is well recognised for its vital role in the regulation of skeletal metabolism, calcium & phosphate homeostasis and immunity. However, recent research has also found a strong association of vitamin D with weight loss.
We are aware of the increased prevalence of obesity, but likewise, the incidence of vitamin D deficiency is also rising worldwide, particularly in developing nations.
Obesity is known as a complex chronic condition of nutrient accumulation, which is indicated by abnormal or excessive fat buildup and correlated with increased morbidity and mortality (1).
Obesity is similar to different metabolic disorders, such as insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, cancer, abnormal fasting glycaemia, diabetes mellitus type 2, dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disorders. Being overweight and obese has been known to report an influence on respiratory function, skeletal disorders and kidney function. It further may lead to alimentary dysfunction. For example, serum The 25-hydroxy vitamin D 25(OH)VitD levels have adverse effects on health like obesity and are also associated with other disorders such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (2).
As per ICMR (2010), it is recommended for Indians to have 600-800 IU of vitamin D on a daily basis, when there is no sunlight exposure, in order to maintain serum levels. But the supplementation dosage depends upon many factors like serum levels, body weight, etc. If you are not able to lose stubborn fat or reduce weight, it could be due to low levels of serum vitamin D, as it is inversely associated with measures of obesity. Obese individuals are at a 35% higher risk for vitamin D deficiency across all age groups. (3)
Recent research has described that cholecalciferol has physiological and biochemical effects that can decrease metabolic abnormalities, and tissue damage resulted from adiposity .
Cholecalciferol has a major role in repressing the PTH hormone, which stimulates and activates fat accumulation in the adipose tissue by increasing intracellular calcium .
Recent studies have shown that cholecalciferol aids in intestinal calcium absorption that may further help in weight loss . Another suggested mechanism states that cholecalciferol promotes insulin receptors and is known to be responsible for maintaining calcium homeostasis, which is an utmost important factor for intracellular mediated processes. An increase in body size is a collective consequence of the claimed association between cholecalciferol and insulin resistance .
Some researchers described that consuming calcium supplements in addition to cholecalciferol increased the inverse relationship while reducing the fat mass attributed to calcium metabolism. It is believed that a calcium-rich diet increases fat oxidation, which further promotes fat cell apoptosis and decreases lipid absorption by the process of insoluble calcium-fatty acid soap formation in the intestine. In conclusion, it can be said that the presence of calcium in a diet leads to suppressing 25(OH)VitD levels, which in turn decreases the calcium influx into the cell and eventually triggers the lipolysis process and suppresses lipogenesis in the adipocyte.
Many studies have investigated the effect of vitamin D supplementation on weight loss, also research combining weight-loss interventions along with increased vitamin D intake, either through consumption of supplementation or foods fortified with vitamin D. After measuring the 25OHD levels before and after, it has been observed that 25OHD levels are related to the degree of weight loss.
Furthermore, suggesting that vitamin D status might be associated with weight loss success. (8)
In a randomised study, done by Vanlint et al.,445 overweight and obese adults were divided into 3 groups. One group was provided 20,000 IU of vitamin D supplementation twice weekly, the other once in a week and the third group was placebo. After 12 months, it was observed that it did not have a definite effect on weight, but it did help reduce fat mass and distribution. However, further research is needed to get more concrete results. (9)
It may aid weight loss by suppressing the storage of fat cells, thus reducing the accumulation of fat cells. Also, high levels of vitamin D helps increase serotonin levels (neurotransmitter), positively responsible for regulating your mood, appetite and sleep.
Also, evidence suggests that the addition of vitamin D supplementation acts as a synergistic aid in weight loss induced dietary and exercise intervention.
Weight loss also might lead to increased 25D concentrations, which may, in turn, protect against chronic diseases. Also, even a small amount of reduction in weight (5-10%) can lead to a modest increase in vitamin D levels.
To conclude, adequate levels of serum vitamin D decreases body fat %, enhances weight loss along with exercise and diet intervention, therefore limiting chances of weight gain. Hence, it is positively associated with fat loss, better health, and supplementation becomes vital especially if deficient.
Steadfast Nutrition vitamin D3 is a well-known vitamin D supplementation. It is a vitamin D supplementation available in capsule form. The capsule is made from soft gelatine derived from an animal source. Each capsule contains 2000 IU of cholecalciferol. It also contains Butylated hydroxyanisole, a synthetic form of Vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant and increases the shelf-life of the product. Along with the above-mentioned component it also contains lecithin and glycerine as an emulsifier and stabilizing agent. The product should be kept in a cool, dry, and dark place to increase its shelf-life. It can be taken by any individual from athlete to the common population as per the direction of the health care professional. People can buy Vitamin D3 online from the Steadfast Nutrition official website as well as the e-commerce website, and it is also available in stores all over India.
1. Slusher et al, 2015. A therapeutic role for vitamin D on obesity-associated inflammation and weight-loss intervention. Inflamm. Res.
2. Arunabh, S.; Pollack, S.; Yeh, J.; Aloia, J.F.Bodyfatcontentand25-hydroxyvitaminDlevelsin healthy women. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 2003, 88, 157–161.
3. Cefalo C.M., Conte C., Sorice G.P., Moffa S., Sun V.A., Cinti F., Salomone E., Muscogiuri G., Brocchi A.A., Pontecorvi A., et al. Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Obesity-Induced Insulin Resistance: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Obesity. 2018;26:651–657. DOI: 10.1002/oby.22132.
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8. Salehpour A., Hosseinpanah F., Shidfar F., Vafa M., Razaghi M., Dehghani S., Hoshiarrad A., Gohari M. A 12-week double-blind randomized clinical trial of vitamin D 3 supplementation on body fat mass in healthy overweight and obese women. Nutr. J. 2012;11:78. DOI: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-78.
9. Khosravi Z.S., Kafeshani M., Tavasoli P., Zadeh A.H., Entezari M.H. Effect of Vitamin D supplementation on weight loss, glycemic indices, and lipid profile in obese and overweight women: A clinical trial study. Int. J. Prev. Med. 2018;9:63.
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11. Vanlint,2013. Vitamin D and obesity.www.mdpi.com/journal/nutrients