Can Vitamin D help you shed those pounds?


by KING 5 HealthLink

Posted on November 29, 2010 at 6:40 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 10:44 AM

Rita Blood has already participated in one weight loss study at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and came away with positive results.

"Huge lifestyle changes. I lost a lot of weight here. I've kept a lot of it off," she said.

She and her friends would like to lose even more weight.

"Definitely thinking about this new study," she said.

The  Vitamin D, Diet and Activity Study  (ViDA) will have a different twist than previous weight loss studies.Yes, there will be exercise and nutritional guidance, but researchers will also be looking at the role Vitamin D plays in weight loss.

"We've seen before that women who had low Vitamin D may have less success of losing weight and so now we want to test it in a well designed study, " said Dr. Anne McTiernan.

Half of the participants in the double-blind study will take 2000 international units (IUs) of Vitamin D a day, the other half will get a placebo, but there are bigger implications here than weight loss alone.

"There's some suggestion that some cancers might be increased in risk with Vitamin D deficiency and we think that's true of breast cancer," said Dr. McTiernan.

The goal is  moderate weight loss of up to two pounds a week, by exercising five-times a week,  by making better food choices and by testing whether Vitamin D will help accelerate weight loss in those who have trouble shedding the pounds.

Rita hopes to continue her success.

"I feel better, I just have a better outlook on life and life is good and so that's the way I want to keep it."

Researchers are looking for 200 post-menopausal women, ages 50-75, with a body mass index of 25 or above. You also must be a non-smoker, not currently on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or taking extra Vitamin D although a multivitamin is acceptable.

It's a year-long commitment. To be considered, call the study information line at 206-667-6444 or click here for more information: 

The research is funded by Susan G. Komen for  the Cure.

KING 5 thanks the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for collaboration with our continuing coverage on cancer awareness.