Should You Take Vitamins for Weight Loss?

August 30, 2012

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vitaminIf you are trying to lose weight, you may have wondered if you should take vitamins for weight loss.

Vitamins do have their place as part of an overall weight loss strategy, but it is important to keep in mind simply taking vitamins or any supplement alone will not lead to weight loss, and some so-called “natural weight loss aids” can be downright dangerous.

Here are some things about vitamins and weight loss to keep in mind.

First, I recommend that anyone on a weight loss program should take a high quality 100% daily multivitamin to help ensure they are getting adequate nutrition. However, no multivitamin can make up for a poor or inadequate diet so it is important that any weight loss plan also includes a solid high nutrition, low calorie meal plan to avoid triggering the body’s starvation response.

For some people vitamin B12 injections can help. My patients who use them say they have increased energy and feel less hungry which makes being active and sticking to their plan easier. It is important that such injections only be given by a licensed medical professional specifically trained in weight loss, like the network of doctors at The Center for Medical Weight Loss.

Studies have also linked Vitamin D supplements to both weight loss and weight maintenance. Your body produces Vitamin D naturally in response to sun exposure and it is also available in foods such as oily fish and fortified milk, but taking a supplement seems to be the best way ensure you are getting enough. Excessive amounts of Vitamin D can cause vomiting, loss of bone density, and other problems so it is important not to take more than 2000 IU per day.

Finally, beware of any program that claims taking their proprietary vitamin or supplement blend is essential to losing weight. Such supplements are not regulated by the FDA and can often contain dangerous, illegal, or simply ineffective ingredients.

In short, the typical American diet contains too many calories of low quality, high fat, and overly processed food. It’s no wonder that so many people are overweight and yet still vitamin deficient.

The solution to this problem is to learn how to eat to provide your body with all of the fuel and nutrition it needs. No pill can make up for that. So while vitamins can play a role in weight loss, they are certainly not a magic bullet.  Any promises that they, or any supplements are, should be a red flag that you’re being sold into a weight loss scam.

Dr. Michael Kaplan

Founder and Chief Medical Officer

The Center for Medical Weight Loss





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Comments (2)

[…] mother may have drilled it into your head: Don’t forget to take your multivitamins. The claims highlighting the super powers of vitamins gave her good reason—boosting brain power, […]

[…] focusing on food. Instead of turning to supplements for nutrition, more people are paying attention to good nutrition in foods. When it comes to weight loss, this […]

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