(NaturalNews) The pharmaceutical industry is poised to begin churning out a slew of new diet drugs within the next few years that are sure to come with some very serious side effects, and that may not even work in the first place. But if you are an overweight or obese individual looking for solutions to your weight problem, you may want to skip these up-and-coming "blockbuster" drugs and instead look to vitamin D, as well as to other diet and lifestyle changes, as an effective alternative to losing weight.
According to a recent randomized, controlled trial on vitamin D out of Tehran University in Iran, overweight women receiving regular doses of vitamin D at amounts higher than the typical recommended daily allowance (RDA) fared much better than a placebo group at losing weight. And despite being an observational study, the findings suggest that vitamin D is a causative factor in this accelerated weight loss, rather than a correlative factor.
Among 77 overweight women randomly assigned to receive either 1,000 international units (IU) daily of vitamin D or a placebo, the vitamin D group lost five more pounds than the placebo group after a 12-week trial period. The vitamin D group also experienced improved lipoprotein and cholesterol ratio scores, which confirms a number of other studies that show vitamin D helps to improve cardiovascular health and prevent heart damage.
"Body fat mass was significantly decreased in the vitamin D group more than the placebo group," wrote their authors in their study abstract, which was published in full in the British Journal of Nutrition. "The findings showed that supplementation with vitamin D2 can significantly improve HDL-cholesterol, apoA-I concentrations (protein component of HDL-cholesterol) and LDL-cholesterol."
Commenting on the study, Dr. John Cannell, M.D., from the Vitamin D Council wrote recently that vitamin D does appear to provide causative weight loss benefits, if not simply by increasing heart health and providing the body with more energy to get up off the couch and be active. He recommends taking 5,000 IU of vitamin D daily for average-weight adults weighing between 125-200 pounds. Those above this amount may want to take 32 IU per pound daily, which translates into nearly 10,000 IU daily for someone weighing 300 pounds.
Exposing your skin to natural sunlight is another great way to naturally produce optimal levels of vitamin D in your body. You can learn more about this by visiting: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org