Best Vitamins To Take For Weight Loss

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Written By: Suzanne Kvilhaug

If only weight loss was as simple as eat less, move more and your dream weight will be yours in no time! Eating healthy and being active are obvious components of losing weight yet there can be way more to it than meets the eye. Besides the usual go-to thoughts when you’re struggling with your weight, like “it’s probably my thyroid!”, sometimes vitamin deficiencies can be to blame. Inadequate nutrient intake can contribute to weight gain and obesity. Looking to learn more about your nutrient levels?

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Here’s an overview of some essential vitamins and their role in weight loss.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in your liver until your body needs it.

There are two types of Vitamin A: retinol and beta-carotene. Retinol also known as 'preformed' vitamin A is the truest form of vitamin A, and it can be found in animal foods such as oily fish and liver. It is absorbed up to four times more efficiently than beta-carotene. Beta-carotene, also known as 'pro-vitamin A,' is found in fruits and vegetables. It has to be converted in the body before it can be used.

Essential for:

  • Growth and development

  • Immune function

  • Reproduction

  • Red blood inflammation

  • Skin and bone formation

  • Vision

Weight Loss:

Vitamin A is required for a wide range of metabolic reactions in the body and in particular, is used in the differentiation of epithelial cells, support of reproduction, and maintenance of the visual system. Research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, found that a lack of vitamin A has been linked to the regulation of fat cells and the hormones they release in the body.

Vitamin B

The B vitamin family is made up of eight B vitamins. The B vitamins play many essential roles in energy metabolism in the body, deficiency in one of the B vitamins can affect other B vitamins, which can disrupt a person's metabolism.

The B vitamins include:

  • B-12 (Essential for metabolism of protein and fats)

  • Biotin

  • Folate

  • B-6 (Helps metabolize protein)

  • Pantothenic acid or B-5

  • Niacin or B-3

  • Riboflavin or B-2

  • Thiamine or B-1

Essential for:

  • Immune function

  • Nervous system function

  • Protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism

  • Red blood cell formation

  • Conversion of food into energy

  • Nervous system function

  • Red blood cell formation  

Weight Loss:

Deficiency in one of the B vitamins can affect other B vitamins, which can disrupt a person's metabolism. The ability to process fats, proteins, and carbohydrates is essential. A healthy metabolism ensures that the body uses these nutrients for energy rather than storing them as fat.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a vitamin your body needs to form blood vessels, cartilage, muscle and collagen in bones. Vitamin C helps to repair and regenerate tissues, protect against heart disease, aid in the absorption of iron, prevent scurvy, and decrease total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides.

Essential for:

  • Collagen and connective tissue formation

  • Immune function

  • Wound healing

Weight Loss:

Studies have shown that too little vitamin C in the bloodstream has been found to correlate with increased body fat and waist measurements.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin,” is a hormone produced from sterols in the body by the action of ultraviolet light on the skin, although most people require the vitamin through their diet. Vitamin D is the generic descriptor for steroids exhibiting the biological activity of cholecalciferol. Sources of vitamin D include biosynthesis through the actions of ultraviolet light in the skin and through the diet as ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) or cholecalciferol (vitamin D3).

Essential for:

  • Blood pressure regulation

  • Bone growth

  • Calcium balance

  • Hormone production

  • Immune function

  • Nervous system function

Weight Loss:

A 12-week weight-loss study published in Nutrition Journal found that increasing vitamin D levels resulted in decreases in fat mass. Low levels of vitamin D are often observed in people who are overweight.