5 Best Vitamins For Weight Loss

best vitamins for weight loss

5 Top Rated Vitamins for Fat Burning

Losing weight is never easy but gaining a few extra pounds can occur in a flash. What is very intriguing is that there are some individuals who are naturally thin. We say this because no matter how much food they eat they are able to maintain a really enviable figure. We are not referring to anorexics who are really skin-and-bones thin. What we are referring to are individuals who consume more food than most of us can finish in two sittings yet they don’t have problems in weight. Their secret? Fat burning vitamins? Weight loss supplements? Or just plain simple stroke of genes where their bodies are inherently more efficient at using energy?

Regardless, have you ever wondered why many health and fitness experts highly recommend vegetables and fruits as well as other food items if you want to lose weight? Aside from the fact that these types of foods contain fewer calories than say, meats and oils, they are packed with fat burning vitamins and minerals. Yes. The same vitamins that your doctor has given you to maintain your optimum state of wellness is the same vitamins that help you lose weight.

Here we will explore 5 of the best vitamins you can take to help you accomplish your weight maintenance or even weight loss goals. But before we go into that, let us first understand what vitamins are for.

What Exactly are Vitamins?

Vitamins are organic molecules or compounds that are deemed important in the promotion and maintenance of optimum health. By convention, this should be differentiated from other nutrients like essential fatty acids, dietary minerals, or even essential amino acids. So, if someone tells you that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid is a vitamin or that leucine and adenine are vitamins, politely correct them as these are not vitamins. Even potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, and the other dietary minerals should not be mistaken as vitamins.

But how about retinol and ascorbic acid? Are these not vitamins, too? These are vitamins. However, more correctly they are known as vitamer compounds as they are either an example of a particular group of vitamins or they are the inactive forms of the vitamin. If the latter is true, then the body itself must be able to convert these vitamers into the active vitamin form.

Different vitamins have different functions depending on their primary organ of action. Some have hormone-like properties while others function as cellular and tissue regulators for growth and differentiation. Still, there are also vitamins that serve as coenzymes or cofactors in a variety of chemical processes thereby improving the rate and efficiency of metabolism. It is through this latter function that fat burning vitamins are known to exert their benefits in the reduction of extra fat to facilitate weight loss.

Vitamin D

Many think of Vitamin D as necessary for healthy bones as well as teeth. What many don’t realize is that it is also one of the best fat burning vitamins we have. And while one of the important factors in stimulating our body to synthesize Vitamin D is sunlight, you’d be amazed to find out that Vitamin D can also be found in other sources as well.

What is it? 

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is responsible for the efficient absorption of calcium, magnesium, phosphate, and iron in the small intestines. The skin is the primary organ of the body that produces Vitamin D, and not the sun. The UV-B radiation of the sun only stimulates the synthetic reaction that occurs in the skin. Aside from dermal synthesis, Vitamin D is also found in certain foods. Vitamin D is primarily involved in the prevention of osteomalacia although it has several function in bone growth and remodeling, immune functioning, and neuromuscular integrity.

What does it do? 

One particular study revealed that people with low levels of Vitamin D were more prone to the development of obesity. It was also revealed that vitamin D-deficient individuals are able to lose weight more effectively when given Vitamin D supplements. However, it is very important to understand that the study participants were already deficient in Vitamin D as such, the implications to weight loss if you have normal levels of Vitamin D has never been fully established yet. What is known for now is that Vitamin D supplementation can be one of the best vitamins that help you lose weight provided that you have a deficiency in Vitamin D. That is why it is recommended that you have your serum Vitamin D levels checked first before taking any supplementation.

Scientists can only speculate that this may have something to do with the role of Vitamin D in the regulation of fat mass. It is believed that the hypothalamus in the brain senses the unusually low levels of vitamin D in the blood and as such will attempt to increase the set point for body weight. Additionally, the hypothalamus also triggers the release of a variety of hormones and other substances that promote the sensation of hunger. When the body weight set point is reset much higher, the body naturally attempts to adjust to this new normal levels. Hence, it favors the storage and accumulation of fat in the different depots of the body. Over time, the accumulated adipose tissues significantly increases body weight.

Perhaps of critical importance is the stimulation of hunger hormones and substances in the light of the absence of or deficiency in Vitamin D. These mechanisms favor the tendency to overeat simply because the body is trying to compensate for the low levels of Vitamin D. This leads to substantially greater amounts of calories that are converted into fats which are then stored in the fat depots of the body namely the abdominal cavity and under the skin.

You know what happens if you overeat, right? And, technically, it’s not really your fault. If we have to follow the logic of the Vitamin D-obesity paradigm, we can safely say that you turned obese because you don’t have sufficient Vitamin D in your body. This initiated a series of events that culminated in your becoming obese.

Vitamin D supplementation or even exposure to the sun’s rays can thus help induce weight loss by reversing the signaling of the hypothalamus in relation to the resetting of your body weight set point as well as in stimulating hunger substances and hormones. This way you are able to effectively control your weight and see it reduced bit by bit. If you need vitamins that help you lose weight, Vitamin D is one of those that you really need to include.

Where can I get it? 

People say that the best source of Vitamin D is sunlight. Again, you don’t get Vitamin D from sunlight. You need sunlight to stimulate certain structures in your skin to start synthesizing or producing Vitamin D. So, technically, your skin is what is producing Vitamin D, not the sun. You only need the sun’s rays, particularly UV-B, to kick-start the synthesis of this vitamin.

Of course, if you live in an area where it seldom shines, then you need to obtain your Vitamin D from food. You can get it from fish, liver, mushrooms, and eggs. Or, if these are not available or if you simply are not fond of these kinds of foods, then you can take a Vitamin D supplement. Just make sure you get the recommended daily allowance of 10 micrograms, with a maximum of 50 micrograms.

Vitamin A

You know very well what vitamin A is for. Children know it by heart as well. One of the most important vitamins for good eye health just happens to be one of the best vitamins that help you lose weight, too. Now you have all the correct reasons for adding yellow and orange-colored vegetables to your diet. Not only are you protecting your vision, you may be on your way to a healthier weight as well.

What is it? 

Vitamin A is a collection of unsaturated nutrients that includes retinol, carotenoids, retinal, and retinoic acid. It has a variety of functions including the promotion and maintenance of optimum vision, the promotion of normal growth and development, and the maintenance of a fully functioning immune system. There are two very essential forms of Vitamin A: retinal and the carotenoids. There’s one very important function of Vitamin A and this is closely related to its being called as one of the fat burning vitamins. Vitamin A has the ability to regulate the synthesis of thyroid hormones.

What does it do? 

The fat burning abilities of Vitamin A is inherently tied to its action on the thyroid gland. This gland located on either side of the throat produces and releases the thyroid hormones known as triidothyronine or T3 and tetraiodothyronine or T4. These two hormones are important in the regulation of metabolic processes all over the body.

A deficiency in these hormones leads to very slow metabolism leading to slowed responses, weakness, and facilitates the storage of fat and other energy molecules. Increased levels of such hormones have the opposite effect. There’s increased activity, increased vital signs, elevated body temperatures, and the more efficient burning of stored fat and its conversion into readily-usable or readily-available energy. This is because an increase in metabolic rate naturally increases energy demands. Provided that you don’t eat high calorie foods right away, your body will have to source this energy from stored molecules, namely fats and glycogen. The greater the need for energy, the greater the amount of stored fats that are eventually mobilized for energy purposes.

Several studies revealed that individuals with significantly low levels of T3 and T4 also showed reduced levels of Vitamin A. While this vitamin is not a treatment for hypothyroidism in itself, it may help as an adjunct to more conventional treatments but with the added benefit of providing you superb weight loss potential.

Given the fact that Vitamin A can help enhance the synthesis of thyroid hormones, it clearly is one of those vitamins that help you lose weight. Increasing your metabolism elevates your body temperature which adds to the energy expenditure. When combined with a diet that is low on calories, the effects can be profound. This mobilizes stored fat, burns them, and converts them into energy to help feed the energy requirements of the body.

However, we should point out that, if you have hypertension or high blood pressure, you may not want to increase the levels of your T3 and T4. Remember that thyroid hormones actually increases the rate of almost every single process in the body. This means even your blood pressure and your heart rate gets elevated. That’s why, if you already have an existing cardiovascular condition, it may be wise to check with your doctor first.

Where can I get it? 

The best source of Vitamin A is cold liver oil, turkey liver, beef and pork liver, fish liver, and red capsicum. Also included are sweet potatoes, carrots, broccolis, butter, kale, collard greens, spinach, pumpkin, cheddar cheese, eggs, apricots, papayas, tomatoes, and mangoes.

Vitamin C

The doctor says that if you have colds, you need to take Vitamin C because it’s good for you. What he didn’t tell you is that vitamin C is one of those fat burning vitamins almost everyone is talking about these days. Sure, it is well known for improving cellular integrity as well as enhancing the function of the immune system, but to think that Vitamin C can also be used for weight loss, is definitely something else.

What is it? 

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that serves as a cofactor in not less than 8 different enzymatic reactions. It is best known for its antioxidant properties as well as the synthesis of collagen making it ideal in the management of conditions that have problems in collagen synthesis.

What does it do? 

There are currently two prevailing hypothesis on how Vitamin C can help you lose weight. The first is related to its ability to increase the oxidation of fat by as much as 30 percent during moderate exercise. Studies show that people who have adequate serum levels of Vitamin C were able to burn more fat during moderate exercises compared to individuals who had sufficiently lower levels of Vitamin C. While the study did not show whether supplementation will have the same effect, the implications are that including Vitamin C-rich foods in your diet in conjunction with moderate exercise can help burn more fat.

The second mechanism has something to do with Vitamin C’s ability to reduce the glycemic effect of foods that we eat. This means that it effectively reduces the level of circulating glucose so that there is no corresponding spike in insulin secretion. As we all know by now, insulin promotes the storage of fat so it helps in weight gain. By reducing the glycemic effect of food, insulin secretion is also reduced thereby reducing the rate of fat storage. Additionally, reducing the glycemic effect of food can improve satiety which can help make you feel fuller. This reduces your food consumption.

Where can I get it? 

Fruits and vegetables are your principal sources of Vitamin C but the ones with the highest concentrations include kakadu plum, camu camu, rose hip, chilli pepper, parsley guava, and red pepper. Did you know that parsley has more vitamin C than orange or lemon?

Vitamin B12

One of the well-documented vitamins that help you lose weight is Vitamin B12. In fact many say that this particular vitamin is known as primarily beneficial in weight control, not necessarily weight loss. The point of the matter is that, if you can be guaranteed that you are not going to add more weight, then you can slowly remove excess fat to obtain an overall net weight loss.

What is it? 

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that has the following vitamers: cyanocobalamin, methylcobalamin, and hydroxycobalamin. It is primarily involved in cellular metabolism particularly in the metabolism or chemical processing of fatty acids and amino acids. It is also essential in the synthesis of DNA materials. Only archaea and bacteria are known to produce this vitamin because only these microorganisms are known to have the necessary enzymes needed for its synthesis. As such, it can only be found in food sources that naturally contain these microorganisms. It is also possible to produce Vitamin B12 synthetically through bacterial fermentation and synthesis.

What does it do? 

It is clear that the action of Vitamin B12 on weight loss is related to its effects on cellular metabolism especially in the processing of fatty acids. What this simply means is that it helps in the production of energy by the cells. By improving the production of energy, Vitamin B12 can help provide the much-needed energy of the body so that it can pursue the accomplishment of its physical activities. This can translate to more stamina and physical endurance which should help provide you the motivation to persevere in your exercise routines. Normally, people give up easily in their workouts simply because they no longer have the energy to continue. Vitamin B12 helps by making sure that your body’s cells are able to efficiently convert the chemical energy obtained from food into thermal energy. While Vitamin B12 may not be exactly the kind of vitamins that help you lose weight, it nevertheless helps in controlling unnecessary weight gain. 

Where can I get it? 

Vitamin B12 can be obtained from meat products, fish, milk, poultry, and eggs. It is not usually present in vegetables and fruits, unfortunately. It is for this reason the people who are on vegan diets are also advised to take Vitamin B12 supplements.

B Vitamins

Known as the energy vitamins, the family of B vitamins are known for a variety of physiologic process including optimum functioning of all the organs of the body including the promotion of growth and development. It is essentially known in energy metabolism and as such is largely consider as some of those vitamins that help you lose weight.

What is it? 

The B vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins that include thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, and folic acid. These vitamins function in a variety of roles. Thiamine and riboflavin are great for optimal functioning of the nervous, cardiovascular, and muscular system. Niacin is beneficial in nervous and digestive health while pantothenic acid and cyanocobalamin are excellent for growth and development. Pyridoxine is essential for protein synthesis and immune functioning while biotin is helpful in hormone synthesis. Folic acid is essential in the transcription and maintenance of DNA.

What does it do? 

Just like Vitamin B12 or cyanocobalamin, the weight loss benefits of the B vitamins are tied to their roles in metabolism. This can help control your appetite because your body will have plenty of energy left to sustain you though most of your activities. These vitamins keep your energy levels up to give you the motivation to push through with your exercise regimen.

Where can I get it? 

B vitamins are found in vegetables, fruits, nuts, dairy products, liver, eggs, grains, and meats including fish and poultry. If your diet is well-balanced you don’t necessarily have to take supplements anymore.

Vitamins for Weight Loss

Don’t expect to lose weight overnight if you do supplement your diet with vitamins. Losing weight is a slow process. It takes dedication and commitment and a good balance of dieting and exercise.

References

1. Earthman, C. P., Beckman, L. M., Masodkar, K., and S. D. Sibley (2012). The link between obesity and low circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations: considerations and implications. International Journal of Obesity. 36(3): 387-396
2. Farhangi, M. A., Keshavarz, S. A., Eshraghian, M., Ostadrahimi, A., and A. A. Saboor-Yaraghi (2012). The effect of vitamin A supplementation on thyroid function in premenopausal women. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 31(4): 268-274 
3. Johnston, C. S. (2005). Strategies for healthy weight loss: from vitamin C to the glycemic response. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 24(3): 158-165 
4. Pereira-Santos, M., Costa, P. R., Assis, A. M., Santos, C. A., and D. B. Santos (2015). Obesity and vitamin D deficiency: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews. 16(4): 341-349 
5. Zhu, W., Cai, D., Wang, Y., Lin, N., Hu, Q., et al (2013). Calcium plus vitamin D3 supplementation facilitated fat loss in overweight and obese college students with very low calcium consumption a randomized controlled trial. Nutrition Journal. 12:8 

LEAVE A REPLY

CommentLuv badge