New research suggests those who have higher levels of vitamin D while embarking on a low-calorie diet may be more successful in losing weight.
The study was conducted at the University of Minnesota and measured blood levels of vitamin D in 38 overweight people before and after they followed a diet for 11 weeks that had 750 calories a day fewer than their estimated needs.
The researchers found that for every increase of 1 nanogram per milliliter in level of a vitamin D precursor, the participants lost about a half pound more. For each 1 ng/mL increase in the active form of the vitamin, they lost almost one-quarter pound more.
In addition, those with higher baseline vitamin D levels tended to experience a greater loss of abdominal fat.
"Vitamin D deficiency is associated with obesity, but it is not clear if inadequate vitamin D causes obesity or the other way around," says Dr Shalamar Sibley, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota.
However, she adds the results of the study support the theory that vitamin D supplementation while on a low-calorie diet can contribute to greater weight loss.