Best Vitamin D Supplements for Weight Loss 2024

Can Vitamin D help you lose weight? Is there any evidence at vitamin D's effects on weight loss?

This article takes an in-depth look at vitamin D’s effects on weight loss.

What Is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning that it dissolves in fats and oils and can be stored in your body for a long time.

Two main dietary forms exist (Am J Clin Nutr. 2012):
  • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Found in some animal foods, like fatty fish and egg yolks.
  • Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). Found in some plants, mushrooms, and yeasts.
Vitamin D needs to undergo two conversion steps to become active (SourceSource).

First, it is converted to calcidiol, or 25(OH)D, in your liver. This is the storage form of the vitamin.
Second, it is converted to calcitriol, or 1,25(OH)2D, mostly in your kidneys. This is the active, steroid-hormone form of vitamin D.



Calcitriol interacts with the vitamin D receptor (VDR), which is found in almost every single cell in your body (Trusted SourceTrusted Source).

When the active form of vitamin D binds to this receptor, it turns genes on or off, leading to changes in your cells. This is similar to how most other steroid hormones work (Trusted SourceTrusted Source).

Vitamin D affects various cells related to bone health. For example, it promotes the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from your gut (Trusted Source).

But scientists have recently discovered that it also plays roles in other areas of health, such as immune function and protection against cancer (Source).

Vitamin D3 supplements appear to be more effective at raising vitamin D levels than D2 supplements.

Vitamin D ensures that your blood levels of calcium are high enough to meet your body’s demands. However, vitamin D does not fully control where the calcium in your body ends up. That’s where vitamin K steps in. Vitamin K2 supplements have been proven to be more effective than vitamin K1. That’s why most of the top vitamin D supplement brands do.


Obesity and Vitamin D Deficiency: What’s the Connection?

People who are overweight or obese have extra reason to be interested in their vitamin D levels.

“Individuals with increased body fat have lower blood levels of vitamin D compared with lighter-weight persons,” says Anne McTiernan, MD, PhD, professor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and author of Starved: A Nutrition Doctor’s Journey from Empty to Full, who has done research on vitamin D and weight loss. An article published in September 2019 in Medicina backs this up, noting that while vitamin D deficiency isn’t a cause of obesity, there’s a strong link between the two. The authors theorize that one reason may be that excess fat, liver, and muscle mass prevents vitamin D absorption.

Another potential explanation, says Dr. McTiernan, it that people who are overweight or who have obesity might get less sun exposure and therefore have a lower level of vitamin D. That’s because they may be less able to go outside and take advantage of the sun’s vitamin D synthesis in the body.

Shilpi Agarwal, MD, a board-certified family physician in Washington, DC, says that even if they are able to go outside, they may be less likely to if their lifestyle is sedentary, which could contribute to a deficiency.

One more factor could be diet. “Low blood concentration of vitamin D is very common in subjects characterized by obesity, possibly due to insufficient dietary intake,” notes Simone Perna, PhD, assistant professor in the department of biology at the University of Bahrain, who has done research on vitamin D and weight loss.

Whatever the reason, researchers are now looking into whether vitamin D supplementation to bring levels up to a healthy range could aid in weight loss.

Higher Vitamin D Levels May Aid Weight Loss

Some evidence suggests that getting enough vitamin D could enhance weight loss and decrease body fat.

At least 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L) is considered to be an adequate blood level to promote strong bones and overall health (Trusted Source).

One study looked at 218 overweight and obese women over a one-year period. All were put on a calorie-restricted diet and exercise routine. Half of the women received a vitamin D supplement, while the other half received a placebo.

At the end of the study, researchers found that women who fulfilled their vitamin D requirements experienced more weight loss, losing an average of 7 pounds (3.2 kg) more than the women who did not have adequate blood levels (Trusted Source).

Another study provided overweight and obese women with vitamin D supplements for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, the women didn’t experience any weight loss, but they did find that increasing levels of vitamin D decreased body fat (Trusted Source).

Vitamin D could also be associated with a decrease in weight gain.

A study in over 4,600 elderly women found that higher levels of vitamin D were linked to less weight gain between visits during the span of the 4.5-year study (Trusted Source).

In short, increasing your vitamin D intake may promote weight loss, although more research is needed before strong conclusions can be reached.

Where Vitamin D Deficiency Could Affect Other Factors That Influence Weight

Because vitamin D influences so many facets of your health, a deficiency could contribute to other factors that may play a role in weight.

For example, a vitamin D deficiency is linked to mental illness. A review published in 2017 in the journal Neuropsychiatry found a significant connection between a vitamin D deficiency and depression.

Having a low mood is also associated with carrying extra weight. One review of research published in July 2017 in the Journal of Preventive Medicine & Public Health found that a higher body mass index (BMI) was linked to experiencing more days of depression.

“It’s possible vitamin D helps maintain adequate energy and mood,” says Dr. Agarwal. “Again, those with low energy or low mood have been found to have low vitamin D, so not necessarily a direct cause and effect but a correlation.”

Still, other factors, like poor sleep, have been linked to a vitamin D deficiency. For example, a meta-analysis of observational research, published in October 2018 in the journal Nutrients, found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a higher risk of sleep disorders, though more high-quality research needs to be done to verify the association, researchers note.

And a lack of sleep has been connected to weight gain. According to the Mayo Clinic, one reason why is that your length of sleep (and lack of it) can impact hormones regulating hunger — ghrelin and leptin. They also suggest that another contributing factor could be that a loss of sleep makes you tired, and that can result in not as much physical activity.

While more research needs to be done to determine the cause-and-effect relationship among these factors, it’s clear that vitamin D supports other parts of health that could potentially influence weight.

Does Vitamin D Affect Metabolism?

Vitamin D is involved in the regulation of metabolic processes and development. This includes nerve conduction, normal mineralization of bone, muscle contraction, and general cellular function throughout the body.

Does Vitamin D Help Lose Belly Fat?

Yes, Vitamin D can help trigger weight loss primarily in the belly. This is because Vitamin D and Calcium may work synergistically to reduce the production of cortisol, which is a stress hormone that causes you to store belly fat.

Vitamin D Dosage Recommendations

In the US, current guidelines suggest that consuming 400–800 IU (10–20 mcg) of vitamin D should meet the needs of 97–98% of all healthy people (Trusted Source).

However, many experts believe the guidelines are far too low (Trusted Source).

Your vitamin D needs depend on a variety of factors. These include your age, skin color, current blood vitamin D levels, location, sun exposure and more.

To reach blood levels linked to better health outcomes, many studies have shown that you need to consume more vitamin D than the guidelines recommend (Trusted SourceTrusted SourceTrusted Source).

For instance, an analysis of five studies examined the link between vitamin D blood levels and colorectal cancer (Trusted Source).

Scientists found that people with the highest blood levels of vitamin D (over 33 ng/ml or 82.4 nmol/l) had a 50% lower risk of colorectal cancer than people with the lowest levels of vitamin D (less than 12 ng/ml or 30 nmol/l).

Research also shows that consuming 1,000 IU (25 mcg) daily would help 50% of people reach a vitamin D blood level of 33 ng/ml (82.4 nmol/l). Consuming 2,000 IU (50 mcg) daily would help nearly everyone reach a blood level of 33 ng/ml (82.4 nmol/l) (Trusted SourceTrusted SourceTrusted Source).

According to Dr John Campbell:

Deficiency: Less than 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/L)
Insufficiency: 21 – 29 ng/ml (52 – 72 nmol/L)
Sufficiency: More than 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/L)

Another analysis of seventeen studies with over 300,000 people looked at the link between vitamin D intake and heart disease. Scientists found that taking 1,000 IU (25 mcg) of vitamin D daily reduced heart disease risk by 10% (Trusted Source).

Can I Take Vitamin D 5000 IU Daily? Based on current research, it seems that consuming 1,000–4,000 IU (25–100 mcg) of vitamin D daily should be ideal for most people to reach healthy vitamin D blood levels.

However, don’t consume more than 4,000 IU of vitamin D without your doctor’s permission. It exceeds the safe upper limits of intake and is not linked to more health benefits (Trusted Source).

So Should I Be Getting More Vitamin D If I Want to Lose Weight?

While researchers are still trying to figure out the strength of the vitamin D and weight loss link, if you are overweight or have obesity, it’s probably worth getting your level tested by a doctor in the meantime, says Anne McTiernan, MD, PhD, professor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and author of Starved: A Nutrition Doctor’s Journey from Empty to Full, who has done research on vitamin D and weight loss.

If you’re deficient, your doctor might advise you to bring your level into the healthy range, for your bone and muscle health. 

Best Vitamin D3 Supplements For Weight Loss

1. Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Capsules





Dosage: 1200 IU (30 mcg) / softgel
Nature Made Vitamin D3 5000 IU for Immune Support Price: $19.99 (90 Counts)

Each daily serving of Bragg ACV capsules provides 750 mg of acetic acid. This is the same amount as one tablespoon of liquid Apple Cider Vinegar, or roughly 30-50 competitor gummies! The Bragg ACV capsules have no sugar added, and no artificial flavors or colors.

These pills also serve provide immmune and weight management support. They do this by reducing the absorption of carbohydrates, which in turn reduces temporary blood sugar spikes from food. It also causes our bodies to burn more fat as fuel and helps provide a feeling of fullness, which aids with weight control and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.

The Bragg ACV supplements are created from Bragg’s proprietary apple cider vinegar blend. Our ACV capsules are Non-GMO Verified, Vegan, Sugar-Free and Gluten-Free.

4.7 out of 5 - 1,361 global ratings

My husband has struggled with high blood pressure all of his life (51 years old now). I had been telling him about the benefits of acv but he felt all naturopathic healing, vitamins were a gimmick! But he gave Braggs acv capsules a try…HE IS A Believer!!! He stopped taking his bp meds and tried these capsules. Day 2 or 3 his bp was normal!!!! He takes 3 capsules at night faithfully. He already ordered his second bottle. So for the past 30 days, his bp has been normal WITHOUT MEDS OR THE SIDE EFFECTS (men know the usual side effects of bp meds)!!! I’m so happy for him. No meds!!! 

2. Vitafusion Vitamin D3 Gummy 3000 IU





BUY ON AMAZON

Dosage: 3000 IU (75 mcg) / gummy
Vitafusion Extra Strength Vitamin D3 Price: $31.50 (120 Gummies)
#14 Best Sellers in Vitamin D Supplements on Amazon

The Vitafusion Extra Strength line includes high potency Vitamin D3 fused into delicious gummies with Natural strawberry flavor. Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” aids in the absorption of Calcium and Phosphorus which help to form and maintain strong bones and teeth. It may also play a role in maintaining strong muscles.* (These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.)

Moreover, this gummies contains NO high-fructose corn syrup, NO artificial sweeteners, NO gluten, NO dairy and NO synthetic (FD&C) dyes.

Ratings
4.8 out of 5 – 9,061 global ratings.

Review
I am very picky about the flavor of vitamins and medicine and these are delicious. They taste great and love that its extra strength too so get everything I need in one dose. Will buy again.

3. Zahler Junior D3 Chewable 1000 IU For Kids





BUY ON AMAZON

Dosage: 1000 IU (25 mcg) / tablet
Zahler Junior Great Tasting Chewable Vitamin D3 Price: $12.97 (120 Tablets)
#54 Best Sellers in Vitamin D Supplements on Amazon

Vitamin D3 is the most potent form of Vitamin D, for healthy growth and development of children. Aside from exposure to sunlight, you can also obtain Vitamin D3 by eating certain foods such as fish, eggs and milk fortified with the vitamin, however, many children do not have adequate levels and therefore require supplements. Zahler Junior D3 provides children with all the benefits of Vitamin D in the most healthy and natural way. Made with the highest quality and natural ingredients, one tablet a day is what you child needs to ensure optimal Vitamin D levels.

In addition, All Zahler products are sourced directly from nature containing only pure, unadulterated ingredients. All our supplements are manufactured in a state-of-art GMP facility. Zahler’s Junior D3 meets only the highest nutraceutical standards.

Ratings
4.8 out of 5 – 4,092 global ratings.

Review
Even though we live in Florida, we tend to not play outside too much in order to avoid sun overexposure. I wanted to make sure my kids were getting enough vitamin D3, but since they’re 5 and 3, it had to be something that was easy to take. I also wanted to make sure that I wasn’t overdosing them on the vitamin. Since Day 1, my kids have never missed their morning vitamin D3! They make sure to remind me that they need it. It has a nice orange flavor, not too strong, and not too sweet. With Subscribe and Save, it was a great value. Highly recommend!

4. Garden of Life Vitamin D3 2000 IU




BUY ON AMAZON

Dosage: 2000 IU (50 mcg) / softgel
Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw D3 Price : $17.04 (60 Counts)
#8 Best Sellers in Vitamin D Supplements on Amazon

The only RAW, whole food, vegetarian Vitamin D3 delivered in a whole food lipid base of high Omega-9, Organic Green Cracked Wall Chlorella – plus live probiotics and enzymes for optimal absorption and digestion. Our Vitamin Code Raw D3 is whole food nutrition, specifically formulated with 2,000 IU of Vitamin D3, which provides bone and joint support, colon and digestive support, memory & concentration, breast & prostate health, proper cell replication and immune system support.

In addition, this D3 vitamin is Non-GMO, RAW, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Kosher, with No Binders or Fillers.

Ratings
4.8 out of 5 – 10,194 global ratings.

Review
Feel so much better when i take this Vitamin D. I love all this companies products. I am and always will be a returning customer. Such high quality, worth every penny.

5. Nature Made Extra Strength Vitamin D3 5000 IU





BUY ON AMAZON

Dosage: 5000 IU (125 mcg) / softgel
Nature Made Vitamin D3 5000 IU for Immune Support Price: $14.39 (90 Counts)
#2 Best Sellers in Vitamin D Supplements on Amazon

One 90 count bottle of Nature Made Extra Strength Vitamin D3 5000 IU (125 mcg) Softgels for a 90-day supply to help support immune health, aid in calcium absorption to support bone health and teeth health, and help support muscle function. For adults, one softgels daily with a meal, but for easier swallowing, take with water before and during ingestion.

Moreover, Gluten-free dietary supplements made with high-quality ingredients, these Vitamin D3 supplements have no added color or artificial flavors. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration; this product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease

Ratings
4.8 out of 5 – 32,120 global ratings.

Review
I work the midnight shift and I’m living a vampire lifestlye. The only sunlight I get is on my days off or driving home in the morning. This vitamin has definitely offset my deficiency. I noticed more of an energy.

6. Life Extension Vitamin D3 5000 IU





BUY ON AMAZON

Dosage: 5000 IU (125 mcg) / softgel
Life Extension Vitamin D3 – Supports Bone & Immune Health Price: $9.75 (60 Softgels)
#44 Best Sellers in Vitamin D Supplements on Amazon

Sourced using only the finest raw ingredients with the purity and potency your body deserves. The majority of our products are non-GMO, gluten-free, and manufactured in the USA—and a Certificate of Analysis is available for every product we produce.

We suggest at least 125 mcg (5000 IU) vitamin D3 a day, which makes this formulation perfect for getting enough vitamin D.Vitamin D helps get calcium into your bone matrix—the lattice-like structure that gives your bones their strength and rigidity. Vitamin D is good for your brain too: healthy levels of vitamin D3 has been shown to correspond to better cognitive health scores as you age!

Ratings
4.8 out of 5 – 4,784 global ratings.

Review
I can really tell a difference when I don’t take my Vitamin D, especially during the winter. I have an inside job and mostly inside hobbies, so I don’t always get a lot of sun light. This improves my mood and energy. This product seems to work as well as any other Vitamin D supplements I’ve taken.

7. New Age Vitamin D3 5000 IU




BUY ON AMAZON

Dosage: 5000 IU (125 mcg) / gummy
Vitamin D3 125mcg Gummies by New Age Price: $24.95 (2×60 Gummies)

New Age Vitamin D3 5000 IU per serving is a Vitamin D Gummy essential to keeping strong teeth, bones, muscles, joints, and immune system to improve daily health and wellness. Moreover, Each batch of New Age Gummies are third party tested to guarantee the highest purity, potency, and premium quality and also do not include any preservatives or artificial colorants

Ratings
4.7 out of 5 – 1,643 global ratings.

Review
Easy to chew, nice taste and easy to swallow. You only need 1 gummie, per day. No store near me ever carries 5000 IU Gummies, so I was very happy to find New Age Vitamins on Amazon! I highly recommend this product!

8. Bronson Vitamin D3 10,000 IU




BUY ON AMAZON

Dosage: 10000 IU (250 mcg) / tablet
Bronson High Potency Organic Non-GMO Vitamin D Price: $14.97 (360 Organic Tablets)
#29 Best Sellers in Vitamin D Supplements on Amazon

Bronson’s USDA Certified Organic Vitamin D3 is Non-GMO and biologically identical to your body’s own D3. It packs 10,000 daily IUs into a tiny, easy-to-swallow tablet to make it simple and convenient.

Many factors in life can lead to us feeling lethargic or rundown. Studies have shown that low levels of Vitamin D3 can negatively impact immune function. As a result of low levels of D3 potentially affecting your immune health, it’s smart to supplement Vitamin D3 into your daily routine to help maintain your good health.* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Ratings
4.8 out of 5 – 8,924 global ratings.

Review
My D3 levels my last blood test were HORRIBLE. I started this product about a month before my recent blood test and the results were smack dab in the middle of the “good” range.
So…. does it work ?….. evidently yes. I do recommend based on my actual blood test data.

9. Puritans Pride Vitamin D3 5000 IU




BUY ON AMAZON

Dosage: 5000 IU (125 mcg) / softgel
Puritans Pride Vitamin D3 Mega Potency Price: $4.18 (100 Softgel)
#59 Best Sellers in Vitamin D Supplements on Amazon

Vitamin D assists the body with calcium absorption – if calcium is not absorbed properly, bodily systems in need will take it from the bones. This supplement helps to maintain your vitamin D level because Vitamin D absorption may decline with age. And Vitamin D can support the immune system as well.

Moreover, this supplement is rigorously tested and inspected up to 15 times to ensure purity, potency, and consistency in every bottle.
Ratings
4.8 out of 5 – 5,090 global ratings.

Review
I have been ordering these for about four years after trying all sorts of larger gel caps. I just love the tiny size of these, and it can fit into my little pillbox with my other meds. My doctor recommended this dosage, which is on the high side, so you should check and make sure it’s right for you.

Conclusion

It’s clear there’s evidence related to vitamin D status and weight.

Getting enough vitamin D can keep your hormone levels in check and may help enhance weight loss and decrease body fat.

In turn, losing weight can increase vitamin D levels and help you maximize its other benefits, such as maintaining strong bones and protecting against illness (Source, Source).

If you get limited exposure to the sun or are at risk of deficiency, it may be a good idea to consider taking supplements.

Supplementing with vitamin D may help keep your weight under control and optimize your overall health.



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