It is quite difficult nowadays to include in our daily diet the required amount of vitamins that our body needs in order to ensure our health. Mass-produced foods have been shown to be deficient in micro and macronutrients, especially vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
Such deficiencies, however, can have unpleasant effects on our health, as vitamins function as catalysts for biochemical reactions that take place in our body. So, when they are present in reduced quantities in the body, our body tries with various signs to show that there is a problem, as in a car, when there is some damage to it.
Nutrient deficiencies and their role in obesity
People with an increased Body Mass Index do not eat properly, as a result of which they do not get the necessary nutrients. In addition, researchers have developed another theory according to which, even when the right food choices are made, the lack of valuable nutrients that characterize them as a result of industrial production can actually contribute to weight gain and especially body fat. This can be understood if we consider that most foods today contain chemical fertilizers and other substances.
According to experts, all this results in the body being overwhelmed by the feeling of hunger.
The vicious cycle of poor nutrition
The feeling of hunger results from a combination of stimuli, such as low blood glucose (sugar) levels and low amino acid concentrations. For example, when there is a drop in blood glucose levels, many people have a sudden appetite for something sweet (hypoglycemia).
The problem is that a lack of a vitamin does not increase the appetite for foods rich in that vitamin. In this way, many experts claim that those who are deficient in a particular vitamin feel hungry because they lack one or more vitamins. The body is unable to give a “signal” that it does not have enough vitamins and sends a “signal” that it is simply hungry.
Low levels of Vitamin D and weight gain
According to a study published in the Official Journal of the American College of Nutrition, it is possible that our body weight is largely related to the intake of vitamins and minerals. In particular, reduced levels of valuable nutrients, such as vitamin D, may contribute to weight gain, as the researchers claim.
Analyzing data from 18,000 Americans over a seven-year period, the researchers found that obese participants consumed 5-12% less micronutrients than those with a normal body mass index. In addition, compared with those who had a normal weight, obese participants were 20% more likely to be deficient in vitamin A, while at the same time there was an even greater chance that the required levels of Vitamin D would not be met.
The role of reduced Vitamin D in the development of obesity
Vitamin D is an organic fat-soluble substance that is classified as a nuclear hormone, which interferes with the expression of target genes. The main forms are that of vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). The foods with the highest content of vitamin D are fatty fish, fish oils, egg, liver and mushrooms. However, the intake of vitamin D from food is limited because, in order to be converted to an active form, it needs the skin to be exposed to sunlight.
The link between Vitamin D and obesity, according to research
Many studies have suggested that there is a reduced chance of gaining weight in a person sufficient in Vitamin D, while conversely there is an increased risk of weight gain in those who are deficient in Vitamin D.
In one study, serum Vitamin D levels were measured in 38 overweight men and women, before participants followed an 11-week diet plan, during which they consumed 750 calories less than their daily needs so as to meet their energy needs.
It was found, therefore, that for every 1 ng / ml increase in the concentrations of the initial concentration of 25-hydroxycholiccalciferol (a precursor of Vitamin D) in the blood, a loss of 0.196 kg more was observed, while for each increase of 1 ng / ml in the active Vitamin D (1.25 dihydroxycholiccalciferol), participants in the study ended up losing 0.107 kg more. In addition, people with higher levels of the active form of Vitamin D lost more subcutaneous fat.
Another small study of 60 overweight or obese young women between the ages of 20 and 35 recommended a low-calorie diet. Women with initial 25 (OH) D concentrations above 20 ng / dL lost more body fat, as opposed to those with Vitamin D levels below 20 ng / dL.
The importance of giving ideal amounts of Vitamin D
Despite the need for further clinical trials to clarify whether maintaining adequate serum Vitamin D concentrations can help prevent metabolic disorders in healthy individuals, it is well understood that ideal levels of Vitamin D are considered vital for the performance of a multitude of functions in our body and can have a positive effect on the energy homeostasis of our body and the maintenance of optimal health. Especially before starting a diet program, it is necessary to regularly check various indicators in our body, such as Vitamin D3, with the ultimate goal of correcting deficiencies and promoting our health.
Specialized Molecular Tests can detect deficiencies in valuable nutrients, hormones and vitamins, including Vitamin D. Therefore, in case of insufficiency or lack of micro-macronutrients and Vitamin D, it is necessary to supply the necessary quantities.
The ideal levels of Vitamin D range between 60 to 100 ngr / dl, however the amount we need is individualized, depending on the case. Furthermore, based on the diagnostic findings, individualized treatment protocols are developed, which may include Therapeutic (Molecular) Nutrition and hormonal recovery of the body, because it is possible that there are other reasons for the difficulty of losing weight.
- Wortsman J, Matsuoka LY, Chen TC, Lu Z, Holick MF. Decreased bioavailability of vitamin D in obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;72(3):690-3.
- Ortega RM, Lopez-Sobaler AM, Aparicio A, et al. Vitamin D status modification by two slightly hypocaloric diets in young overweight/obese women. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 2009;79:71–8
- Wood RJ. Vitamin D and adipogenesis: new molecular insights. Nutr Rev 2008 Jan;66(1):40-6.
- Chang E. Vitamin D decreases adipocyte lipid storage and increases NAD-SIRT1 pathway in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Nutrition. 2016 Jun;32(6):702-8
- Patrick RP. Vitamin D hormone regulates serotonin synthesis. Part 1: relevance for autism. FASEB 2014 Jun;28(6):2398-413
- Walsh et al, Vitamin D in obesity, Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes 2017
- Nimptsch K. Association between plasma 25-OH vitamin D and testosterone levels in men. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2012 Jul; 77(1):106-112
- Cheng S, Massaro JM, Fox CS, Larson MG, Keyes MJ, McCabe EL, et al. Adiposity, cardiometabolic risk, and vitamin D status: the Framingham Heart Study. Diabetes. 2010;59(1):242-8.
- Afzal S, Brondum-Jacobsen P, Bojesen SE, Nordestgaard BG. Vitamin D concentration, obesity, and risk of diabetes: a mendelian randomisation study. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2014;2(4):298-306.
- WHO/FAO (2001). Human Vitamin and Mineral Requirements. Report of a Joint FAO/WHO expert consultation, Bangkok, Thailand. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. World Health Organization. Food and Nutrition Division FAO Rome.