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The Vitamin D Weight Gain Connection

By The Lucy Rose Clinic

September 13, 2020

This time of year is when we see appallingly low vitamin D levels.

The tail end of winter uncovers not just stalled metabolisms and weight gain, but immune system issues with seasonal colds and flus the norm.

If your vitamin D status is low – like the average Aussie’s is – you are at higher risk of catching all viruses. Yes, including covid. So get this addressed!

We have surprised patients literally EVERY DAY who discover they have a vitamin D deficiency even though they take a daily vitamin D supplement.

I’ll get to the weight gain factor in a sec, I promise! First, let’s look at symptoms of vitamin D deficiency:

  • Get colds and flus easily – vitamin D directly interacts with the cells that are responsible for fighting infection. When it is low, your immune system can’t work well.
  • Fatigue. Not usually contributed to vitamin D, but if you have dangerously low levels, you will struggle with daytime tiredness and headaches.
  • Bone pain and lower back pain. Vitamin D affects calcium absorption in the bones, so low levels can result in aching and pain.
  • Depression. Depression is associated with low vitamin D levels and we have found that supplementing improves mood.
  • Slow healing of wounds. Inadequate vitamin D levels may lead to poor wound healing following surgery, injury or infection.
  • Muscle pain. There is a link between chronic pain and low blood levels of vitamin D.

How do you get a Vitamin D deficiency?

  • Having dark skin
  • Elderly people are more prone
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Poor diet
  • Living far from the equator where there is little sun year-round, such as Tasmania, and lower parts of Australia
  • Always using sunscreen or covering up when going out
  • Staying indoors
  • Having an active autoimmune disease.

How a vitamin D deficiency affects weight

What many don’t know is that vitamin D plays a role in carbohydrate metabolism.

Recently, researchers suggest that vitamin D may play an important role in the development of many diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, including increased cardiovascular risk.

One study discovered that the higher the insulin resistance in overweight participants, the lower the levels of vitamin D. This trend suggested a direct correlation and with blood sugar metabolism, insulin irregulating, and weight gain.

Dosing strategies

Many people are told to take 1000iu Vitamin D3 a day to prevent a deficiency. That will be fine for the average Caucasian person who gets plenty of midday sun several times a week, that doesn’t have an autoimmune condition, depression, metabolism issues, fatigue or other health conditions. So basically, that will serve a healthy person.

The other issue is that too much vitamin D supplementation is BAD (although rare) and can cause the following issues: hypercalcemia, digestive upsets, bone loss, or kidney injury.

Optimal results in vitamin D in a serum test should sit between 100-250 nmol/l.

As a part of a thorough health workup, be sure to get your vitamin D tested!

We run vitamin D in every nutritional panel to ensure dosing is optimal for our patients.

Supplement Quality Consideration

Vitamin D is CHEAP! But cheap is not always good – especially where your health is concerned. Companies that can sell a product cheap cut production costs by sourcing the cheapest ingredients to make their product.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, and stable, good quality lipid bases are costly. So instead, they use highly processed oils extracted from soybeans, corn, rapeseed (the source of canola oil), cottonseed, and safflower seeds. These must be refined, bleached, and deodorised before they are suitable for human consumption. The result? An energy-dense, nutrient-poor oil that contains chemical residues, trans fats, and oxidized byproducts. There are so many reasons this is bad for our health – I will have to write a blog just about it. Bottom line…. avoid these oils. Instead, invest in better quality supplements. Our preferred vitamin D liquid is in a stable coconut oil base, and only available under script as it is higher potency.

Get ALL the answers to your weight loss questions! Feel free to book a call with one of our naturopaths to discuss your health!

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