Weight loss is a challenge many people experience and has become a billion-dollar industry. If you are not convinced, just take a look around the pharmacy. There are shelves and shelves of supplements, weight loss pills, energy bars, meal replacement bars and other additives that will reportedly help you shed those unwanted pounds. Millions of dollars are spent on advertising for diet programs and weight loss supplements, but there is one category of supplements that has gone relatively unnoticed.
The human body works best with an optimum intake of vitamins, water and sleep. All of these factors play an important part in running an efficient, calorie burning body. Some of these vitamins and minerals actually work synergistically, or depend upon each other to work effectively. In other words, without one vitamin, the other doesn’t work quite as well. And the relatively unnoticed weight loss supplement is our vitamins and minerals.
While there really isn’t one vitamin that is thought to be “best” for weight loss regimens, there are some special ones that are worthy of mention for the role they play. However, it is important to recognize that anybody operating on less than optimal vitamins and minerals supplementation and nutrients will burn less calories, be less efficient and be prone to disease and illness.
Vitamin B complex vitamins are vitamins that leached quickly from the body when an individual is under stress. B2 or riboflavin is needed for thyroid function and metabolism. This means that if the body is low on riboflavin the thyroid will work more sluggishly and metabolism will run more slowly. Good sources of vitamin B complex are liver, kidneys, almonds, hard cheeses, eggs and green leafy vegetables. (1)
Vitamin B3, niacin, is required for thyroid function as well and is also part of a glucose tolerance factor released each time blood sugar rises. Niacin is found in wheat bran, liver, tuna, turkey, chicken, meet, eggs, salmon, barley, dried fruit and brown rice. (2)
Another of the vitamin B complex vitamins, B5 or pantothenic acid, is important in the role of energy production. Individuals can get good sources of pantothenic acid and liver, kidneys, eggs, molasses, beans, vegetables, poultry and nuts. (3)
The last of the vitamin B complex vitamins is B6 or Pyridoxine, which regulates the production of thyroid hormone and thus controls the body’s metabolism. Good sources include wheat germ, eggs, sardines, poultry, avocado, bananas, brown rice and dried fruits. (4)
Other vitamins that play a significant role in maintaining adequate body metabolism are vitamins C, chromium, zinc and co-enzyme Q10. In other words individuals should receive a well-balanced diet or consider a vitamin and mineral supplement to make up the deficiencies they experience while attempting to lose weight.
While there is no magic weight loss vitamin, there are specific vitamins that will negatively impact the ability to lose weight if there is a deficiency present. Weight loss always happens when an individual experiences a negative calorie balance. This means that the individual will burn more calories than they eat. The ability to burn more than they eat is impacted by several factors, not the least of which is the metabolic rate. A vitamin deficiency in the B-complex vitamins will slow the metabolism even more. Watching food intake, increasing exercise and ensuring an adequate vitamin intake will set the road for a slimmer and trimmer you.
(1) American Cancer Society: Vitamin B Complex
(2) University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
(3) Linus Pauling Institute @ Oregon State University: Pantothenic Acid
(4) PubMed: Pyridoxine