Vitamin D can lower weight, blood sugar via the brain, study finds

Vitamin D deficiency affects weight and blood sugar regulation by the hypothalamus.

"Vitamin D deficiency occurs often in obese people and in patients with Type 2 diabetes, yet no one understands if it contributes to these diseases," said Stephanie Sisley, MD, the study's principal investigator and an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. "Our results suggest that vitamin D may play a role in the onset of both obesity and Type 2 diabetes by its action in the brain."

"The brain is the master regulator of weight," Sisley said. A region of the brain called the hypothalamus controls both weight and glucose, and has vitamin D receptors there.

Compared with the control rats, animals that received vitamin D had improved glucose tolerance, which is how the body responds to sugar. In a separate experiment, these treated rats also had greatly improved insulin sensitivity,... In this study, vitamin D in the brain decreased the glucose created by the liver.

In a separate experiment of long-term vitamin D treatment, the researchers gave three rats vitamin D and four rats vehicle alone for four weeks. They observed a large decrease in food intake and weight in rats receiving vitamin D compared with the group that did not get vitamin D. Over 28 days, the treated group ate nearly three times less food and lost 24 percent of their weight despite not changing the way they burned calories, study data showed. The control group did not lose any weight.

"Vitamin D is never going to be the silver bullet for weight loss, but it may work in combination with strategies we know work, like diet and exercise," Sisley commented. [emphasis mine]

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Tags: insulin resistance, obesity, vitamin D

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Replies to This Discussion

Your photo shows a pill. I prefer my Vit. D from the sun!

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