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VITAMIN D3 AND WEIGHT LOSS – WHAT DOES THE SCIENCE SAY?

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Vitamin D is an interesting compound. It seems like it would be the most natural vitamin to get enough off: simply go out in the sun daily and your body can make enough – right?

Well, Vitamin D levels tend to be low in many people around the world. Even if you have enough, you probably don̵

7;t have optimal levels to maximize the benefits found with high Vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D supplementation isn’t something than many people consider unless a medical professional tells them to do so.

However, Vitamin D supplementation might be a great idea for you to boost your health and even help you lose weight!

What Is Vitamin D3?

Vitamin D is an essential micronutrient, meaning your body doesn’t have naturally enough to maintain optimal health. One must eat foods rich in Vitamin D or get out in the sun enough to fulfill daily requirements.

Vitamin D3 is the more bioavailable form of Vitamin D. Vitamin D2, which tends to be found in some types of mushrooms, is readily used by the body. That’s why it’s essential to focus on Vitamin D3 when looking to improve your blood levels.

Vitamin D3 is found in foods like eggs, fish, cheese, and foods that are fortified with additional Vitamin D, like many dairy products.

What Does Vitamin D3 Do?

Vitamin D3 behaves like a steroid in the body. It is synthesized from cholesterol, which is why it is a fat-soluble vitamin.

Since Vitamin D is one of the 24 necessary micronutrients that we have to take in to stay healthy, it’s crucial to optimize your intake.

It has a variety of different jobs in the body and can help cognition, bone health, improve your immune system, and even boost your subjective well-being.

Vitamin D3, while it is not common, can sometimes be found as a testosterone booster and/or fat burner supplement ingredient.

It can help you lose weight by overcoming a deficiency [1]. Since many of us don’t have optimal levels of Vitamin D, it may be an effective fat loss supplement.

What Is The Difference Between Vitamin D and Vitamin D3?

As stated earlier, Vitamin D3 is one of the two types of Vitamin D, the other being Vitamin D2. D3 is the form that is used the most efficiently by the body, meaning it’s the best to supplement with and get more of.

When looking to purchase a supplement, it’s important to note whether you are getting D2 or D3. It’s best to go with D3 since your body can work more efficiently with it.

What Are The Benefits Of Taking Vitamin D3?

Improving your Vitamin D levels can have a drastic effect on overall health if you are currently deficient. Let’s take a look at some of the many benefits:

  • Lowered risk for heart disease [2] 
  • Reduced risk for colorectal cancer [3]
  • Lowered blood pressure [4]
  • Reduced risk of fractured/broken bones [5]
  • Potential to reduce overall fat mass [6]
  • Decreased risk of all-cause mortality – meaning that higher levels of Vitamin D can lead to higher longevity due to reduced overall disease risk [7]
  • Lower risk of contracting influenza [8]
  • Improved insulin sensitivity, which may be one of the ways that Vitamin D helps with weight loss [9]
  • Increase in testosterone levels – higher levels of testosterone have been shown to boost fat loss [10] 
  • Lowered risk for breast cancer [11]
  • Decreased risk for depression [12]

As you can see it’s crucial to optimize your Vitamin D levels to boost your health and even help you lose weight. Vitamin D3 supplementation tends to be the best option to do so.

How Much Vitamin D3 Should You Take A Day?

Since Vitamin D is synthesized in your body after exposure to the sun, it should be easy enough to go outside and optimize your intake.

However, Vitamin D is only synthesized when the UV index is three or higher, meaning that many times of the year you can’t synthesize Vitamin D from the sun, depending on where you live.

The further you live from the equator, the more critical supplementation may become.

If you already have the right amount of Vitamin D in your blood, a daily intake of 400-800 IU tends to be the recommendation. However, since most of us aren’t at optimal levels already, a daily intake of 1,000-4,000 IU may be used to offset the deficiency.

4,000 IU per day is considered safe for long term use, so optimizing your Vitamin D levels is a safe way to boost your health and even help you lose some weight along the way!

What Are The Main Sources Of Vitamin D3?

Vitamin D3 is fat-soluble, so it’s only found naturally in foods that are high in fat.

The best sources are:

  • Egg yolks
  • Fatty fish, like Tuna
  • Cheese
  • Fortified dairy products that are not fat-free

If you cannot optimize your Vitamin D intake through food alone, you should consider a Vitamin D3 supplement. They are cost-effective and useful for those who don’t spend a lot of time outside in the sun or eat a lot of the foods above.

The Bottom Line

Vitamin D is essential for your health. Simply put, most of us are not getting enough of it.

It is the most common micronutrient deficiency in the modern world.

Improving your intake through food can help. Getting outside more often may help as well.

However, optimizing your Vitamin D levels from the state of a deficiency is very hard to do from the sun and food alone.

Instead, supplementing with a Vitamin D3 product can help your health and improve your weight loss efforts through many pathways.

Author: Adam Steel is the Chief Editor at Legwork, an aspiring personal trainer, sporadic long-distance runner, avid gym-goer and determined to complete his ultra-marathon and 100-mile sportive.

 

References:

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22998754

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20194238

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17296473

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19587609

[5] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19307517

[6] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22998754

[7] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18574092

[8] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20219962

[9] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12800453

[10] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21154195

[11] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17368188

[12] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26609167

Don’t undervalue D3 supplementation just because it isn’t as hyped as some other supplements. It’s healthy, safe, and highly effective when used the right way!