Vitamin D has been found to be important for numerous reasons. In a recent study it was also documented that women who had a higher blood level of 25 hydroxyvitamin D lost more body fat when compared with women with a lower 25 hydroxyvitamin D level (Ortega RM, et al, 2008). 25 hydroxyvitamin D is the preferred test for vitamin D status.
The study included overweight/obese women between the age of 20-35 years of age. The women were put on slightly caloric restricted diets which led to a reduction in body weight and body mass index in both the women with lower and higher vitamin D levels. What made this study interesting was that women with hydroxyvitamin D levels of 50 nmol/L or more lost more body fat than the women who had hydroxyvitamin D levels of less than 50 nmol/L.
We get vitamin D from sunshine, but because of less exposure and protection from sunscreens, most people need to supplement with vitamin D to reach optimal levels. Vitamin D3 is the recommended form to take.
Ortega RM, et al, 2008. Preliminary data about the influence of vitamin D status on the loss of body fat in young overweight/obese women following two types of hypocaloric diet. Br J Nutr. 2008 Aug; 100(2):269-72