Meta-analysis tests vitamin D supplementation for weight loss theory

April 21, 2014 by Hamish Hastie, Science Network WA
Literature review: does vitamin D have a role to play in combating obesity? Credit: Lauren Silverman

A Curtin University study has cast doubt on claims vitamin D helps with fat loss after a meta-analysis of 12 high-quality vitamin D randomised control trials showed it had little impact on adiposity or obesity measures.

The School of Public Health study reviewed to see whether supplementation with vitamin D without influenced body weight and composition.

Study co-author Associate Professor Mario Soares says the research was sparked by a newfound interest in vitamin D for its extraskeletal benefits.

"The role of vitamin D is re-emerging from its more traditional aspect of controlling calcium and ," he says.

"We felt it was time to look at the literature out there and come to a decision—does vitamin D by itself actually have a role to play in obesity?"

Researchers conducted the meta-analysis of studies which had the right data for either body weight, body mass index (BMI), fat mass, percentage fat mass or lean body mass.

They found, apart from a small non-significant decrease in BMI, vitamin D supplementation did not decrease measures of adiposity in the absence of caloric restriction.

Prof Soares says a lot of the literature they reviewed had been designed with bone health or bone density in mind and many did not report key findings on composition despite measurements from dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scans.

"Essentially we didn't find any significant effect … in one way it's gratifying because there's nothing magical about vitamin D to make you lose weight without you reducing your calorie intake."

Future vitamin D research planned

Prof Soares says there is still work to be done with vitamin D research.

"Animal data still shows very strong evidence that it has a role to play in energy metabolism but the human evidence to date is not stacking up," he says.

"Partly that's because there are not many studies that have been specifically designed to look for it and what we're dealing with now is a lot of retrospective analysis of existing trials designed for other endpoints."

Prof Soares says his group has a new vitamin D trial planned for the second half of this year.

"Essentially what we will do is screen for people who have a poor vitamin D status, then we're going to correct their status while placing them on a weight loss diet for three months," he says.

"We're going to monitor detailed at the start, during and at the end.

"We believe correcting D status during a period of weight loss is a way forward since it could augment fat loss."

Explore further: Vitamin D deficiency contributes to poor mobility among severely obese people

Related Stories

Vitamin D deficiency contributes to poor mobility among severely obese people

April 15, 2014
Among severely obese people, vitamin D may make the difference between an active and a more sedentary lifestyle, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism ...

Calcium, vitamin D modulate human energy metabolism

March 12, 2012
(HealthDay) -- There is considerable evidence that calcium and vitamin D intake are influential in modulating energy metabolism in humans, according to a study published online March 2 in Obesity Reviews.

New analysis suggests that further trials of vitamin D have little chance of showing health benefits

January 23, 2014
A new study concludes that evidence is lacking for substantial health benefits of vitamin D—and that results of several multi-million-dollar trials currently underway are unlikely to alter this view.

Study finds no evidence that vitamin D supplements reduce depression

March 18, 2014
Vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in numerous health conditions in recent years, including depressed mood and major depressive disorder. Recent observational studies provide some support for an association of vitamin ...

Vitamin D supplementation may be beneficial in depression

April 7, 2014
(HealthDay)—Vitamin D supplementation has no overall effect on depressive symptoms, but may have a significant effect for those with clinically significant depression, according to a review published online March 14 in ...

Low Vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms

April 16, 2014
A new study from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) shows no significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause ...

Recommended for you

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.