(NaturalNews) A recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Minnesota found that overweight people have better success in losing weight when their vitamin D levels are increased. Dr. Shalamar Sibley, the researcher who headed the study, placed 38 obese men and women on a diet program and discovered that those whose vitamin D levels were increased lost up to a half pound more than those who followed the diet plan only.
When combined with a reduced-calorie diet, it appears that supplementation with vitamin D helps to promote increased weight loss among those whose levels are low to begin with. For each nanogram per milliliter increase in vitamin D precursor in the blood, it was observed that an extra half pound loss in weight was able to be achieved while the diet plan.
A study published earlier this year in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that 75 percent or more of American teens and adults are deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to all sorts of serious illnesses including cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Researchers in the weight loss study are unsure whether vitamin D deficiency causes obesity or if obesity causes vitamin D deficiency. Nevertheless, there is a clear connection between the two.
Vitamin D, in conjunction with calcium and sunlight, helps to properly assimilate food and regulate normal blood sugar levels. When there is a lack of calcium, oftentimes due to a vitamin D deficiency, the body increases production of synthase, a fatty acid enzyme that coverts calories into fat. Calcium deficiency can cause synthase production to increase by up to 500 percent, explaining the correlation between low levels of vitamin D and obesity.
Mainstream research has only begun to scratch the surface about the importance of vitamin D in general health maintenance. A clinical study conducted in April of 2000 revealed that patients who were bound to wheelchairs because of chronic fatigue and body weakness became mobile after just six weeks of supplementation with 50,000 IU of vitamin D per week. Other studies are showing remarkable healing from all kinds of diseases when vitamin D is brought up to proper levels.
Although current guidelines suggest daily intake somewhere between 400 and 600 IU, recent research is suggesting that this may be too low. Getting between 4,000 and 10,000 IU a day will have a much more therapeutic effect, boosting health and fending off disease. When natural sunlight is not an option, supplementation with vitamin D3 is the next best option.