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The Sneaky Reason You May Be Struggling With Weight Loss (+ What To Do Next)

How vitamin D status impacts body composition.

As mindbodygreen’s vice president of scientific affairs, Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN, explained in a previous article, “less serum vitamin D [aka, 25(OH)D], circulating in our blood means less D is available to our kidneys and other target tissues for conversion to its active, hormone form for its pleiotropic actions throughout our body.”

In other words, the higher an individual’s adiposity, the more likely they are to have insufficient vitamin D levels. “And mind you, that’s just one way that adiposity can compromise vitamin D status and its ability to do its widespread job in our bones muscles, immune cells, brain, liver, etc.,”* Ferira adds.

Research shows there may also be a dilution factor and even metabolic differences for major vitamin D pathways in individuals with more adipose tissue (as measured by fat percentage, waist circumference, and BMI). Regardless of the exact mechanisms, the science shows a clear inverse relationship between adipose tissue and vitamin D status1.

In fact, vitamin D levels have been found to play a role in metabolic health factors ranging from weight loss and body composition to blood sugar balance and hunger hormone regulation:*

In a 2014 randomized controlled trial (RCT) published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, postmenopausal women that achieved vitamin D sufficiency lost seven more pounds2, 2% more body fat, and 4 more centimeters of waist circumference, on average, than those with lower vitamin D levels. In a recent RCT from Menopause, healthy women between the ages of 50 and 65 that took a daily vitamin D supplement for nine months had healthier levels of adiponectin and leptin (i.e., adipokine hormones with a key role in body composition, insulin sensitivity, and healthy inflammatory actions) than women that did not.In a 2012 study from the Journal of Women’s Health, healthy women over 65 sufficient in vitamin D were found to gain less weight3 over a span of 4.5 years than those with vitamin D insufficiency.

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The science doesn’t lie: Vitamin D has a number of science-backed benefits supporting different metabolic health factors, including healthy body composition.*

How to reach and maintain vitamin D sufficiency.

To help support your metabolic and whole-body health, reaching (and maintaining) healthy vitamin D status is key. The easiest way to get there? A premium daily supplement with efficacious dosage and form–like mindbodygreen’s vitamin D3 potency+.*

mindbodygreen’s quality formula delivers 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 (the superior form for bioavailability) and an organic trio of oils (olive, avocado, and flaxseed) to sufficiently support absorption of the fat-soluble vitamin.* Individuals with higher amounts of fat tissue typically need a dosage that’s two to three times greater4 than the standard recommendation. Luckily, vitamin D3 potency+ delivers a high-potency dose of D3 to help you achieve and sustain truly optimal D status, no matter your body composition.*


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The takeaway.

Vitamin D and adiposity have a complex and nuanced relationship, and individuals with higher amounts of body fat may struggle to maintain healthy circulating levels of the fat-soluble vitamin. Luckily, taking a high-potency daily supplement like mindbodygreen’s vitamin D3 potency+ can help you reach and maintain healthy vitamin D status and support your overall metabolic health–no matter your body composition.*

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.

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