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Vitamin D Effects on Weight Reduction, Cravings and Diabetes in GLOBESITY Bootcamp for the Obese

Effects of Vitamin D on Weight Reduction

Authors: Marcus Free MD, Rouzbeh Motiei-Langroudi MD, Waqar Ahmad PhD, Kelly Daly RDN, and Don Juravin (Don Karl Juravin).

Abstract (Research Summary)

  • Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. It is also produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger Vitamin D synthesis.
  • Vitamin D supplementation (100 mcg) causes weight loss of 6.8 lbs (3.1 kg) to 12.3 lbs (5.6 kg) over 2 years (Shahar, 2010; Vieth, 2004).
  • Vitamin D is reduced in the body when adipocytes start proliferating (Narvaez, 2009; Chen, 2010).
  • Vitamin D supplementation is recommended to improve weight loss (Chen, 2010).
  • Vitamin D is inversely related to diabetes risk (Pietschmann, 1988; Scragg, 1995; Targher, 2001; Scragg, 2004), the concentration of glucose (Scragg, 2004; Boucher, 2005; Baynes, 1997; Ortlepp, 2003; Chiu, 2004) and insulin resistance (Scragg, 2004; Boucher, 2005; Chiu, 2004; Lind, 1995).
  • Vitamin D deficiency decreases insulin secretion by 48% (Norman, 1980).
  • Vitamin D decreases cravings by promoting the ratio of healthy gut flora (Codoñer-Franch, 2012; Renzaho 2011).

Vitamin D Effects on Weight Reduction

Vitamin D supplementation causes weight loss of up to 12.3 lbs (5.6 kg) in 2 years. Vitamin D status is inversely associated with total body fat percentage, BMI, waist circumference, and skinfolds. 

  • Vitamin D supplementation (100 mcg daily) causes weight loss of up to 12.3 lbs (5.6 kg) over 2 years (Shahar, 2010; Vieth, 2004).
  • Vitamin D status is inversely associated with total body fat percentage, BMI, waist circumference, and skinfolds (Snijder, 2005). This indicates that the larger the individual, the more Vitamin D deficient they likely are.
  • Vitamin D deficiency results in an increase in adipocytes (fat cells) and fat deposition (Botella-Carretero, 2007).
  • Vitamin D is depleted in obese individuals due to excessive uptake by adipocytes (Buffington 1993, Wortsman 2000).
  • Vitamin D is reduced in the body when adipocytes proliferate and lipid metabolism slows, resulting in weight gain (Narvaez, 2009; Cheng, 2010). Therefore, Vitamin D supplementation is recommended to improve weight loss (Cheng, 2010).

Vitamin D Effects on Cravings

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased cravings for fatty foods. Vitamin D decreases cravings by increasing the ratio of healthy to unhealthy gut flora and protecting brain centers sensitive to serotonin and dopamine. 

  • Vitamin D decreases cravings for fatty foods such as dairy products (e.g. ice cream) and meat (e.g. pork belly) (Snapper, 1955).
  • Vitamin D improves the colonization and growth of healthy bacteria thus reducing hunger and cravings (Renzaho, 2011).
  • Vitamin D deficiency increases oxidative stress in the body, which can affect brain centers sensitive to serotonin and dopamine, therefore producing more cravings (Codoñer-Franch, 2012).

Vitamin D Effects on Diabetes

Vitamin D deficiency decreases insulin secretion by 48%, disturbs glycemic control, and increases insulin resistance. Vitamin D supplementation improves the secretion of insulin from the pancreas. 

  • Vitamin D deficiency decreases insulin secretion by 48% (Norman, 1980). 
  • Vitamin D is inversely related to diabetes risk (Pietschmann, 1988; Scragg, 1995; Targher, 2001; Scragg, 2004), glucose concentration (Scragg, 2004; Boucher, 2005; Baynes, 1997; Ortlepp, 2003; Chiu, 2004), and insulin resistance (Scragg, 2004; Boucher, 2005; Chiu, 2004; Lind, 1995).
  • Vitamin D improves the secretion of insulin by indirectly acting on pancreatic islets, thus improving glycemic control (Palomer, 2008).
  • Vitamin D concentration decreases as insulin resistance increases, thereby increasing the risk of diabetes (Buffington 1993, Wortsman 2000). This depletion is due to excessive fat deposition and proliferation of adipocytes (Buffington 1993, Wortsman 2000).

Benefits, Side Effects, Drug Interactions

Benefits

  • Vitamin D (83mcg daily) significantly improves cardiovascular disease risk markers in overweight individuals (Zitterman 2009).
  • Vitamin D deficiency is closely associated with cardiovascular disease, dyslipidemia, arthritis, and bone density (Muscogiuri 2012).

Safety

Vitamin D is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) according to FDA.

Side effects

  • Weakness and fatigue. 
  • Headache. 
  • Dry mouth and metallic taste. 
  • Nausea and vomiting. 

Drug interactions

  • Aluminum: Aluminum is found in most antacids. Vitamin D may increase the absorption of aluminum, which may cause harm in individuals with kidney disease. 
  • Calcipotriene: Vitamin D may enhance the effects and side effects of calcipotriene. 
  • Digoxin: Vitamin D may increase the effects of digoxin and lead to an irregular heartbeat. 
  • Diltiazem: Excessive Vitamin D intake may decrease the effectiveness of diltiazem. 
  • Diuretics: Both Vitamin D and diuretics increase the amount of calcium in the body. Too much calcium may lead to serious side effects including kidney problems. 

Caution

  • Diabetes: As Vitamin D increases insulin sensitivity, it is important to monitor sugar levels to avoid hypoglycemic episodes. 
  • Kidney problems: As Vitamin D increases calcium absorption, care is needed in individuals with kidney problems, and physician advice is required if taking associated medication. 

References

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Footnote

This research was sponsored by GLOBESITY FOUNDATION (nonprofit organization) and managed by Don Juravin. GLOBESITY Bootcamp for the obese is part of GLOBESITY FOUNDATION which helps obese with 70 to 400 lbs excess fat to adopt a healthy lifestyle and thereby achieve a healthy weight.

Tags: vitamin D, weight reduction, GLOBESITY FOUNDATION, weight loss, cravings, diabetes, healthy weight