Produced in response to sunlight, vitamin D is known to have potential immune-enhancing effects. And since the past summer here in the UK was not exactly the sunniest you might have missed out on the sunshine vitamin’s immune-boosting benefits, which could leave you vulnerable to colds and flu infections.
But it’s not too late. You can still top-up your vitamin D levels with a daily supplement. In fact, a recent review suggests that ensuring optimal vitamin D levels through either sun exposure or supplementation could help ensure optimal protection from infectious diseases, like the flu.
The power of two
Apart from protecting against winter infections, it’s also a well-known fact that vitamin D, in addition to calcium, is a winning combination in the quest for stronger bones. And now new research sheds light on a lesser known benefit of these two nutrients.
If you’ve been stuck in your own personal battle of the bulge (and you could very well be after over-indulging during the festive season), this latest research might strike a chord with you.
For the study, published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism, researchers randomly assigned 53 subjects to stick to a reduced calorie diet for 12 weeks. Half of these subjects also supplemented with 600mg of calcium and 125 IU of vitamin D3 daily.
The researchers evaluated each group, comparing changes in body weight and Body Mass Index (BMI), waist circumference, body composition, blood pressure, and lipid profile.
At the end of the trial, there was no remarkable difference in weight loss between either groups. But there was a significant difference in fat loss among the subjects who supplemented with both the calcium and vitamin D3 combo.
What’s more, the supplements had a particularly powerful effect against visceral fat — the belly fat that builds up around your internal organs and contributes to inflammation.
So if you haven’t already, pick up a vitamin D3 supplement for this winter, pair it with calcium to cash-in on this combo’s infection-protection, bone health and fat metabolism benefits.
Taking this simple and cost-effective supplement combination could be a very good way for you to kick-off 2017.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
“Calcium plus vitamin D3 supplementation facilitated Fat loss in overweight and obese college students with very-low calcium consumption: a randomized controlled trial.” Nutr J. 2013 Jan 8;12(1):8.