Vitamins are the all essential micronutrients we need for various roles within the body organs, skeletal structure and external structure, such as our hair and skin. But in addition to giving us the essential micronutrients our bodies need, vitamins can aid towards weight loss too.
Vitamins are divided into two groups: water soluble vitamins, which are B-complex and C; and fat soluble vitamins, which are A, D, E and K. In a nutshell, water soluble vitamins need regular replacement in the body, while fat soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and fatty (adipose) tissue, ready for use at a later stage. These can take a lot longer to be flushed out from the body.
As we grow older, we may slightly lack in certain vitamins that work effectively towards maintaining a healthy weight, or weight loss. But in the UK, certain vitamin supplements can be taken as an aid to lose weight, generally coupled with a controlled dietary plan. Medical practitioners can prescribe pills known as fat binders or carb blockers, for example. Small dosages of these are available over the counter, which include certain vitamins for weight loss. There are also other products, called extracts, which include vitamins that can play a role in shedding the pounds.
Here are a list of the best known vitamins to help with losing weight.
This vitamin, and one that can be deficient in the over 50s, aids in converting fat and protein into energy, which, in turn, helps with weight loss. Your doctor may recommend a vitamin B-complex supplement to assist in converting food into energy, should they feel this will help you in maintaining a health bodily function.
An important vitamin – fat can get blocked in the liver if you are deficient in this particular micronutrient. Correct levels of choline will help metabolise fat at a higher rate.
Chromium processes carbohydrates at a faster rate and is also an appetite suppressant. This helps prevent you from hunger pangs and stops you reaching for snacks.
ATP (adenosine triphospate) is the source of energy within the body that makes it function correctly. Co-Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) working with ATP results in a higher metabolic rate, as the body turns more food to energy than to fat, which helps to increase weight loss.
This vitamin is not so easy to obtain naturally in the UK, due to the lack of sunlight. But those people who are deficient in vitamin D are actually more likely to gain weight.
Omega 3 and 6
These are essential fatty acids that improve metabolic rate. The body does not naturally produce them so they can only be found in supplements. A wide range of health benefits are also available from these vitamin supplements. For instance, omega 3 can help fight against cardiovascular disease.
This transition metal of the periodic table has many weight loss properties, such as speeding up metabolism. It also encourages the production of the thyroid hormone, which is responsible for maintaining a healthy weight.
Stick to the RDA
There is no doubt these vitamins will help boost your potential for weight loss. But when taking supplements, it is important to always read the label and check the levels of the vitamins included, whether a multivitamin or a specific vitamin, to keep to the RDA (recommended daily allowance). Overdosing on vitamins can cause as many health problems as that of deficiency. Mega doses of vitamins are also purely ejected from the body as they are not required, so save yourself the time, expense and possible side effects of overdosing on them. For more information, read Vitamins and Minerals on NHS Choices.