European Congress on Obesity

European Congress on Obesity

May 08, 2015
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Supplements promote weight loss in overweight adults with vitamin D deficiency

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Adults with overweight or obesity and vitamin D deficiency may see an added weight-loss benefit when taking vitamin D supplements, according to research presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Prague.

In a study of adults with overweight and obesity who were vitamin D deficient in northern Italy, researchers associated vitamin D supplementation with weight loss and an improved metabolic profile when combined with a healthy diet. Vitamin D deficiency in northern Italy ranges from 6% in people with overweight to 30% to 40% in people with obesity.

“The present data indicate that in obese and overweight people with vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D supplementa­tion aids weight loss and enhances the beneficial ef­fects of a reduced-calorie diet,” the researchers wrote.

Luisella Vigna, MD, MSC, of Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico and the department of preventive medicine at University of Milan, Italy, and colleagues at other institutions analyzed data from 400 adults with overweight or obesity (314 with BMI > 30 kg/m2; 86 with BMI 25 to 29.9 kg/m2) between 2011 and 2013.

Participants were assigned to one of three groups for 6 months: no supplementation, vitamin D supplementation using cholecalciferol 25,000 IU per month or vitamin D supplementation using cholecalciferol 100,000 IU per month. All participants received a balanced, moderately low-calorie diet.

Researchers measured BMI, waist circumference, body composition, plasma levels of vitamin D, fasting glucose, fasting insulin and HbA1c levels at baseline and 6 months later.

Researchers observed a significantly greater weight decrease in the groups with vitamin D supplementation (–3.8 kg, cholecalciferol 25,000 IU per month; –5.4 kg, cholecalciferol 100,000 IU per month) compared with those with no supplementation (–1.2 kg).

Waist circumference reduction also was greater in the vita­min D groups (–4 cm, cholecalciferol 25,000 IU per month; –5.48 cm, cholecalciferol 100,000 IU per month; –3.21 cm, no supplementation) regardless of age, sex and BMI. Researchers noted improved HbA1c levels in patients assigned 100,000 IU of vitamin D, but the finding was not significant after adjustment for weight decrease.

Six-month supple­mentation with both 25,000 IU and 100,000 IU vitamin D increased serum vitamin D levels, but only 100,000 IU brought participants to optimal vitamin D status, according to researchers.

The researchers also are investigating whether vitamin D supplementation influences cardiovascular parameters, including lipids and body composition, in terms of lean mass. They also plan to evaluate the potential effect of vitamin D on white blood cell counts.

“All people affected by obesity should have their levels of vitamin D tested to see if they are deficient, and if so, begin taking supplements,” the researchers wrote. – by Regina Schaffer

Reference: Vigna L, et al. Poster T8:PO.110. Presented at: European Congress on Obesity; May 6-9, 2015; Prague.

Disclosure: Endocrine Today was unable to confirm any relevant financial disclosures.