Weight loss boosts your vitamin D levels

Vitamin D is important not only to bone health, but also possibly to cardiovascular health and prevention of obesity and diabetes.  Overweight people, and dark-skinned people living in the North are prone to having low vitamin D levels.

New research shows that losing weight (diet and exercise) boosts women’s level of vitamin D, even if they don’t take a supplement.  This may be a virtuous cycle – weight loss increases vitamin D, which may help to reduce fat accumulation…

I take 5000 U a day of vitamin D. I do not recommend taking that dose of vitamin D without checking with your doctor and gettings blood levels measured.

Good food sources of vitamin D?  From the Federal government’s Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS):

Table 3: Selected Food Sources of Vitamin D [11]
Food IUs per serving* Percent DV**
Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon 1,360 340
Salmon (sockeye), cooked, 3 ounces 447 112
Mackerel, cooked, 3 ounces 388 97
Tuna fish, canned in water, drained, 3 ounces 154 39
Milk, nonfat, reduced fat, and whole, vitamin D-fortified, 1 cup 115-124 29-31
Orange juice fortified with vitamin D, 1 cup (check product labels, as amount of added vitamin D varies) 100 25
Yogurt, fortified with 20% of the DV for vitamin D, 6 ounces (more heavily fortified yogurts provide more of the DV) 80 20
Margarine, fortified, 1 tablespoon 60 15
Liver, beef, cooked, 3.5 ounces 49 12
Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 2 sardines 46 12
Egg, 1 large (vitamin D is found in yolk) 41 10
Ready-to-eat cereal, fortified with 10% of the DV for vitamin D, 0.75-1 cup (more heavily fortified cereals might provide more of the DV) 40 10
Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce 6 2

* IUs = International Units.

Note how good fish is in this regard!  I take fish oil every day.  I also eat a lot of canned tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel.

Sun exposure is crucial, too, for making vitamin D (though not too much for light-skinned people).

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See vascularanesthesia.com for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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