If you wish to know in advance how successful your weight loss ventures will be, researchers have revealed that measuring vitamin D levels before the start of a low-calorie diet helps.
The study suggests a possible role for vitamin D in weight loss.
"Vitamin D deficiency is associated with obesity, but it is not clear if inadequate vitamin D causes obesity or the other way around," said the study's lead author, Dr Shalamar Sibley, MPH, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota.
During the study, the authors attempted to determine whether baseline vitamin D levels before calorie restriction affect subsequent weight loss.
They measured the 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.
The authors found that baseline, or pre-diet, vitamin D levels predicted weight loss in a linear relationship.
"Our results suggest the possibility that the addition of vitamin D to a reduced-calorie diet will lead to better weight loss," said Sibley.
She cautioned, however, that more research is needed.
"Our findings," she said, "need to be followed up by the right kind of controlled clinical trial to determine if there is a role for vitamin D supplementation in helping people lose weight when they attempt to cut back on what they eat."
The results were presented at The Endocrine Society's 91st Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.