Do Vitamins help with weight loss?
Weight loss is commonly boasted as an added value of many products in a drugstore. The benefits range from boosting metabolism to burning fat. But scientists have found little evidence to support the claims about vitamins helping lose weight.
There’s still no clear one multivitamin for weight loss and metabolism, but taking a multivitamin might act as positive catalyst. In a new study of more than 85 obese women in China, those who took a multivitamin (with 29 vitamins and minerals, much like a “one-a-day” you find on store shelves), while continuing to eat their normal diets, experienced an average weight loss of about three and a half pounds over six months. Those who took a placebo lost nothing.
The findings in the International Journal of Obesity, add to a growing field of research that suggests vitamins and minerals for weight loss.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, for example, found that dieting obese men and women who took a weight management multivitamin lost the same amount of weight as dieters who took a placebo during a 15-week calorie-restricted eating plan. But the female supplement-takers reported feeling less hungry, said lead author Angelo Tremblay, Ph.D., an obesity researcher at Laval University in Quebec City, Canada. Being less hungry might make it easier to keep the weight off, says Tremblay.
Vitamins and Supplements that help in Weight Loss
Scientists don’t yet know exactly which vitamins and minerals have the biggest influence over appetite and promote weight loss. Calcium seems to help: A number of clinical trials have shown that consuming 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day can boost weight loss in dieters by up to 60 percent, possibly by binding to fat in the gastrointestinal tract, which reduces how much fat the body absorbs.
On the surface, there has been no clear link between calcium consumption and weight loss. Calcium only changes the way your body absorbs fat from your food. Your body needs calcium to support bone, muscle, blood vessel and nerve health. The benefit gained from calcium-rich foods for weight loss is that they are rich in nutrients and low in fats.
The weight-loss benefits of calcium supplements, however, appear to work best for people who aren’t already getting enough of the mineral. But other nutrients seem to be helpful, too: women in the Chinese study who took multivitamins lost more weight than those who took a supplement that contained only calcium – in the same amount provided by the multivitamin.
Vitamin D is essential to keep our bones strong but experts still aren’t convinced that Vitamin D helps you lose weight. A study, published by American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that postmenopausal overweight women who took Vitamin D supplements lost more weight than women who did not take Vitamin D supplements. More researches are yet required to test if Vitamin D supplements can help lose weight.
A balanced diet which includes cereals, juices, fatty fish, low-fat dairy products also helps to get the Vitamin D required by your body. Walking early in the morning helps gain Vitamin D from the sun.
While Vitamin B-12 supplement does not improve your metabolism, there is no evidence till now that Vitamin B-12 can’t help burn fat. Vitamin B12 may not shed kilos for you but it helps by changing the way your body absorbs nutrients. It prevents nutrients from getting converted into fat and rather, converts them into energy.
There is definitely a need Vitamin B-12 for anaemics, strict vegetarians, heavy drinkers or patients who have undergone a bariatric surgery.
Omega-3 fatty acids
According to American Heart Association, omega-3 fatty acids are a great addition to a balanced diet. They protect your heart from damage and diseases. Although there have been no claims till now supporting that omega-3 fatty acids can help lose weight. Fishes like salmon, trout, sardines and tuna are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. But if eating fish isn’t an option, then you can go for omega-3 pills.
The Final Verdict on Vitamins for Weight Loss
One plausible theory as to why multivitamins help promote weight loss, suggests Tremblay, is that when your body is low on vitamins and minerals, your appetite fires up – prompting you to eat more to replenish the nutrients you’re missing. By staying topped off with nutrients, on the other hand, it may be possible to keep a runaway appetite under control.
Vitamins are essential for converting nutrients into energy, helping you burn more calories throughout the day. Failing to hit your RDAs consistently could lead to something worse than a cold. In a 12 week-long experiment, scientists fed mice a diet containing just half of their recommended vitamin intake. By the end of the experiment, the micro-deprived mice weighed 6% more than the control group, even though they had consumed the same amount of food, and their body fat had doubled.
Without vital micros, the liver produces fewer PPAR-alpha fat sensors. This reduces your body’s capacity to burn fat. Worryingly, your cells also become less sensitive to insulin, which can cause your blood sugar levels to spike and slump more wildly, making you more susceptible to consuming a mid-afternoon chocolate digestive.
Nutrition experts say it’s best to get nutrients from food, but when dieters cut back on calories, they are more likely to miss the mark on some nutritional requirements. So, although a supplement on its own won’t melt the pounds away, it can help ensure that vitamin and mineral deficiencies aren’t contributing to extra weight.