The exhilarating thrill of summer sunshine on your skin – finally! – always seems to bring with it intense tummy-trimming thoughts, gearing you up to get your body tight, toned and beach ready enough to enjoy that sun while it lasts.
And it turns out that it’s not just bikini envy that turns your mind towards women’s weight loss every summer season – it may actually be the sun itself.
A growing body of research is demonstrating a powerful connection between body weight and vitamin D, the potent hormone that is produced naturally by your body when you’re exposed to direct sunlight. Not only are low vitamin D levels associated with a surplus of tummy fat and weight gain, but some researchers even pin it as a main cause for common obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Major Weight Gain
The Journal of Women’s Health recently reported a study that followed 4,600 women who were 65 years of age or older, over a period of five years. The researchers found that the women who had insufficient levels of vitamin D in their blood tended to weigh more at the outset of the study, and that they also gained more weight on average during the course of the five year research, when compared with women who showed higher values of vitamin D.
This connection between vitamin D levels and body weight also shined through in a second study, this time looking at younger individuals. More than half of all overweight adolescents seeking weight loss surgery were found to be deficient in vitamin D, with the teens at the highest body weights demonstrating the lowest vitamin D levels. These results line up with previous studies that looked at adults pursuing weight loss surgery. The even more frightful catch to this accelerating health problem – weight loss surgery is becoming an increasingly common surgery amongst all age levels due to the growing obesity epidemic – is that post-surgery, these sorts of procedures make it even more difficult for the body to absorb this crucial vitamin.
D-Day for Women’s Weight Gain
While the exact effect of vitamin D on fat storage has yet to be explained, several strong links between vitamin D and body weight suggest that it operates on multiple levels and through various mechanisms simultaneously in order to help you lose weight.
Fat cells have vitamin D receptors, that may influence whether they increase or decrease in size. Vitamin D also boosts serotonin levels in the brain, which has the effect of curbing cravings and increasing appetite control. Additionally, it’s long been known that Vitamin D is a major player when it comes to bone health. Strong healthy bones have been shown to affect metabolism and weight management. One researcher even suggests that low vitamin D status activates an ancient winter-survival response in the body, kicking your metabolism into fat-storage mode in order to protect you from the food scarcity once associated with the cold weather months.
Aside from weight gain, vitamin D deficiency has already been associated with a host of other chronic conditions and diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, autoimmune disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and certain cancers.
The best way to optimize your vitamin D levels is the good old fashioned way: through regular, adequate and safe sun exposure. The form of vitamin D that your own skin produces when exposed to direct sunlight is the most ideal type to maintain a healthy weight and overall better health.
However, because most of us don’t have the opportunity to obtain this kind of safe sun exposure adequately (due to lifestyle, where you live, health risks associated with sun exposure without skin protection, etc.), it’s important to consider taking oral vitamin D3 supplements and being regularly tested to ensure you are in an optimal, healthy range. While each person’s vitamin D needs will differ, vitamin D experts typically recommend about 1000 IU’s a day that’s why our SLIMQUICK Pure Extra Strength Caplets have 500 IU’s of vitamin D in each serving.