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Vitamin & Mineral Supplements and Weight Loss BACKUP

By Cynthia K. Buffington, PhD


Are you taking your vitamin and minerals?  Did you know that in addition to preventing anemia, bone loss, neurological defects, and maintaining health post-surgery, that taking your vitamin and mineral supplements daily may help to improve your weight loss success? 


Epidemiological and clinical studies find that vitamin and mineral supplements are beneficial in promoting weight loss and preventing weigh gain.  One large study followed weight changes of middle-aged individuals over a 10-year period of time known to be associated with weight gain.  The study found a substantial reduction in weight gain over this period among individuals who took vitamin/mineral supplements.   Another large population study in Quebec2 found that persons taking vitamin/mineral supplements, as compared to those who do not, are less obese, have less body fat, and a tendency toward greater energy expenditure (greater metabolic rates).


An earlier study by the author3 found that daily vitamin/mineral supplement use for a period of only 6 weeks significantly reduced body fat and increased lean tissue in obese women.  Along with the loss of body fat, vitamin/mineral supplement use by these women resulted in a significant decline in the total number of calories they consumed each day.


A recent study4 also found that taking vitamin/mineral supplements daily cause favorable changes in body weight and percentage body fat.   In this particular study, 96 women were given a vitamin/mineral supplement or a placebo (a pill that does not contain vitamins and minerals) for a period of 26 weeks.  At the end of this time period, the women on the vitamin/mineral supplement but not those on the placebo lost a significant amount of body fat and weight.  The loss of body fat occurred along with an increase in energy expenditure and greater fat oxidation (utilization). 


Another study2 looked at the effects of taking vitamin/mineral supplements versus placebo in a group of individuals who were on a low calorie diet.  According to the study findings, vitamin/mineral supplements led to a significant reduction in appetite. 


Altogether, these study findings suggest that, in addition to preventing health problems post-surgery, vitamin/mineral supplements may be beneficial in weight loss and/or maintenance.  Don’t forget to take your vitamin and mineral supplements each and every day!



1Nachtigal MC et al.  Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2005

2Major GC et al.  British Journal of Nutrition 2008

3McMillion et al.  Obesity Surgery 2001

4Li Y et al.  International  Journal of Obesity 2010