Is D the Next Get-Thin Vitamin?

August 29, 2013

vitamin d for weight lossThe belly fat solution I bet you’ve never heard of.

The new research regarding the D connection to obesity is so compelling that I felt it was high time to detail the latest D-iscoveries.

A 2010 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that subjects with healthy vitamin D levels lost about twice as much weight as those with the lowest levels, and there is plenty of “skinny” science to back it up.

So, if you’ve been carrying around 10 to 15 extra pounds, the “sunshine” vitamin just might be the missing link.

Here’s a snapshot of the mounting D research:

  • Individuals with higher levels of vitamin D are less likely to become obese in the first place.
  • The higher the vitamin D levels before starting a diet, the more successful the weight loss results, primarily in the belly region.
  • D works with calcium to help reduce cortisol production, the stress hormone that causes you to store belly fat to begin with.
  • Adequate levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream prompt fat cells to slow down their fat-storing efforts, while low levels of D cause levels of calcitrol and parathyroid (PTH) hormones to rise, causing the body to store fat instead of burning it.
  • Vitamin D triggers the body to release more leptin—the “stop eating, you’re full” hormone that signals the brain that you’re no longer hungry. D deficiency inhibits leptin from communicating with the brain, which leads to overeating and of course, weight gain.
  • Low vitamin D levels lead to insulin resistance, a major factor in the obesity epidemic.


Are You D Deficient?

Besides packing on belly fat and the inability to lose weight, other symptoms include fatigue, depression, low immunity, greater susceptability to flus and viruses, and joint and bone aches and pains. Only those of us living below 34 degrees north latitude (a line connecting Los Angeles, CA and Columbia, SC) actually get enough sunlight for vitamin D production year-round.

How to Boost Your D Stores

With the summer sun fading fast, and fall rapidly approaching, we can’t rely on rays alone. Start by adding D-rich foods to your diet like button and shitake mushrooms, eggs, salmon, and sardines.

When it comes to supplementation, I always suggest D3 (cholecalciferol), as it’s the type of vitamin D the body naturally produces in the skin in response to sun exposure. I’ve found Thorne D-5000 to be the very best dietary supplement out there because it contains pure, undiluted D3 without added preservatives. This is in line with the Vitamin D Council’s recommendation of 5,000 IU of vitamin D daily for adults. Children can take 1,000 IU per 25 pounds of body weight daily. Blood levels for adults should ideally range between 50 and 80 ng/mL, year round according to the D Council.

One thing’s for sure—I have D-etermined that the “sunshine” vitamin may be the weight loss catalyst of the century!

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Alex Newell

    A D-lightful post Annlouise.

    I did not know of the cortisol connection with vitamin D!

    Is a daily oral dose of 5,000 iu safe without prior blood investigation?

    • Emily ann

      See John Douillards site The LivingSpa, he has a wealth of free articles like Louise.
      His article on Vit D3 (vit D2 is not worth taking at all!)
      is great to determine levels etc.

      Theres also the Vit D Revolution Bk which you can peruse @Amazon.

      If your’e not well 10,000 I.U. of Vit D 3 is the norm; if severely deficient you can take up to 50,000 I.U. for a short time, then reduce it.
      Such a shame our country has such a poor medical
      situation that you have to have $75 – $100. to test each person in your family! I hope in the future medicine will be given out freely as well citizens are creative and productive citizens. Billions are spent on illness & the subsequent depression each year in America!

      • Emily ann

        the best time to sunbathe without sunscreen of course as that has been labeled a bio-hazard (google it!) is at 12 noon or close to it, for 15-20 min. thats when the max.amount of VitD3 is available. Don’t wash or shower for a while so it can be absorbed in your skin. Less clothes the better!!

        Also see Andreas Mortitz site for more info and his great book on Healing with sunshine!

    • Sierra

      I have taken 10,000 IU per day for a full year now, and have never felt better. I’ve heard of some people take as much as 50,000 IU per day as a therapeutic dose.

  2. Zana Hart

    Unfortunately, since the radiation from Japan is reaching the west coast, Pacific salmon is a risk I’m not willing to take. And I haven’t eaten fish farmed salmon in years… Sorry I don’t have a link for the Pacific salmon but it’s been reported in the news recently.

    • Sierra

      I’ve heard this too and certainly understand your concerns! I’m hopeful that there will be more testing done on Pacific fish so we are able to make better informed decisions.

  3. Karen

    Thank you for posting this. I am low in vit d. My dr said the test is becoming a regular part of all practices here in VA since many people have the same. That is how I found out, through a standard test.

    Where do I buy the vit d you are recommending?

    Thanks for posting about the seafood.

  4. Joy

    When is the best time to take supplements — both on and off any Fat Flush Plan phases?

    • Sierra

      Vitamin D is best taken with food containing essential fatty acids.

  5. Beth

    I get taking it with essential fatty acids but are there any vitamins or foods that should not be taken at same time, that interferes with absorption?

    • Sierra

      I think vitamin A may interfere

  6. Betty

    I heard that taking Vit. K with D3 helps the absorption of the D. Is that true?

    • Sierra

      It may help- vitamin K is noted for improving circulation.

  7. Nancy

    I heard you shouldn’t take calcium with other vitamins

    • Sierra

      Calcium and magnesium can block the absorption of certain other nutrients, so they are best taken just before bed.

  8. Denise

    What if you vitamin D levels are too high? I started taking vitamin a couple of years ago because I was very low and my level is now over a hundred. My doctor had me stop taking it. Suppose to get tested again on next vist.

    • Sierra

      As far as I know, there have been no ill effects recorded from Vitamin D levels that are too high. If your tissue calcium level was very high above normal, taking Vitamin D may usher too much calcium into the blood, but this is a very rare instance. Your tissue calcium can be measured in a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis.


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