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The level of vitamin D in the body before beginning a low-calorie diet predicts weight loss success, according to a new study presented at the 91st annual meeting of The Endocrine Society.
"Our results suggest the possibility that the addition of vitamin D to a reduced-calorie diet will lead to better weight loss," said Dr Shalamar Sibley, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota, who conducted the study.
The researchers measured circulating blood levels of vitamin D in 38 overweight men and women before and after the subjects followed a diet plan for 11 weeks consisting of 750 calories a day fewer than their estimated total needs.
Vitamin D insufficiency has long been associated with obesity, and on average the subjects in the study had vitamin D levels in the insufficient range, according to Sibley. However, the authors found that pre-diet vitamin D levels predicted weight loss directly. For every point higher of vitamin D on the test, a subject lost about half a pound more on their diet. Higher vitamin D at baseline also predicted more loss of abdominal fat.
Sibley cautions that more studies will need to be done to determine if supplementing vitamin D before starting a diet will result in better weight loss.
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