Weight gain is common among menopausal women and like many other symptoms; it has a lot to do with hormonal fluctuations.
Menopausal ladies are more likely to gain weight in the abdominal area than around the hips and thighs. Besides menopause itself, sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet are common culprits for weight gain during this special time in your life.
Successful weight loss is possible with regular physical activity and diet modifications. Fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods should replace junk food, salty, and sugary products.
Since nutrition is important, this post is going to focus on vitamins to lose weight during menopause successfully.
Vitamins for Weight Loss in Menopause
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin involved in immune function, vision reproduction, and cellular communication.
This micronutrient supports cell growth and differentiation, thus playing a vital role in the health and functioning of the heart, kidneys, lungs, and other organs. Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant and it is present in many anti-aging products for the skin.
Antioxidants destroy free radicals in order to prevent oxidative stress and damage caused by it. Speaking of this common problem, studies show that fat accumulation is closely correlated with markers of systemic oxidative stress which also contributes to the development of the metabolic syndrome.
Thanks to its antioxidant effects, vitamin A has the potential to reduce oxidative stress and help you manage weight or prevent overweight and obesity.
Another mechanism behind vitamin A’s impact on weight management is through its connection with thyroid hormones. A study whose findings were published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology revealed that vitamin A deficiency is strongly associated with levels of thyroxine (thyroid hormone).
Scientists concluded that this micronutrient influences serum thyroxine and thyroid function.
Why is this important? Well, thyroid hormones play a role in the body’s metabolism. It is a well-known fact that thyroid hormone status correlates with body weight and energy expenditure. Since vitamin A deficiency impairs thyroid function, then it indirectly contributes to weight gain.
In order to lose weight effectively and keep it within a healthy range, it is essential to consume adequate amounts of vitamin A.
According to the National Institutes of Health, recommended daily intake for women who are 51 or older is 700 mcg.
Good sources of vitamin A include:
- Beef liver
- Cod liver oil
- Lamb liver
- Sweet potato
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D or sunshine vitamin is of huge importance to our overall health and wellbeing. The fat-soluble vitamin promotes calcium absorption in the gut and maintains healthy levels of this mineral.
That’s why vitamin D is crucial for bone and joint health. Other roles of this micronutrient include modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and a decrease of inflammation.
Supplementation with vitamin D helps menopausal women improve bone health and prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, but it can also aid weight management. Studies show that overweight or obese individuals tend to have lower levels of vitamin D.
Since a deficiency in this micronutrient is common and rates of overweight/obesity keep increasing, it is evident there is a link between the two factors.
Not only is vitamin D deficiency associated with weight gain, but consuming adequate amounts of the micronutrient promotes weight loss.
A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed 218 overweight/obese women to analyze the influence of vitamin D supplementation on their weight loss endeavor.
Women were divided into two groups. One group received vitamin D supplement while the second group got a placebo.
All women had the same, calorie-restricted, diet. At the end of the study period, women from the supplement group lost an average of seven pounds (3.2 kg) more than their counterparts who received a placebo.
Bearing in mind that vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins to lose weight during menopause, you should strive to meet daily requirements. The recommended intake for women from 51-70 age group is 600 IU (15 mcg).
Good source of vitamin D include:
- Cod liver oil
- Fortified milk
Since most of us do not consume recommended daily amounts of vitamin D, supplementation is a viable option.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C or l-ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that your body doesn’t produce on its own ad the only way to get sufficient amounts of the micronutrient is to consume it through your diet.
This vitamin has numerous roles in your body including biosynthesis of collagen, protein metabolism, and it strengthens the immune system to resist cold, flu, and other viral infections.
Just like vitamin A, l-ascorbic acid acts as an antioxidant and destroys free radicals. In fact, the antioxidant role is the reason why vitamin C aids weight loss, according to a study from the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology.
It is also important to mention that vitamin C improves heart health and reduces the risk of cardiovascular events.
Menopausal women are at a higher risk of experiencing cardiovascular issues, and vitamin C intake helps you protect your heart and overall health. Even though vitamin C is absolutely necessary for the functioning of your body, make sure you don’t consume too much as it would induce counterproductive effects. Stick to the recommended daily value which is 75 mg.
Great sources of vitamin C include:
- Brussels sprout
- Green pepper
- Red pepper
4. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is crucial for healthy red blood cell formation, DNA synthesis, and neurological function.
Sufficient levels of this micronutrient benefit your metabolism because vitamin B12 is needed to convert carbs into usable glucose. Basically, vitamin B12 is essential for an energy boost.
That way, you’ll get the maximum out of your daily workouts and you won’t get tired too soon. Deficiency in vitamin B12 is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in the world and fatigue is a common symptom.
Lack of energy makes you unwilling to work out and only hinders your weight loss. It is also important to mention that overweight or obese people have lower levels of vitamin B12 than healthy persons.
Studies also show that insufficient levels of this micronutrient are correlated with higher BMI.
Recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 for adult women is 2.4 mcg. Great sources of this micronutrient include:
- Beef liver
- Cottage cheese
- Grass-fed beef
- Nutritional yeast
Bearing in mind that sources of vitamin B12 are mainly animal-based, vegans and vegetarians are at a higher risk of deficiency. In this case, supplementation is a practical way to consume sufficient amount of the vitamin.
You may also find these essential vitamins in a dietary product like Amberin.
Although weight gain is common among menopausal women, it is possible to lose weight and keep it in a healthy range. Regular physical activity coupled with a well-balanced diet is the best way to achieve safe and effective weight loss.
To reach your target body goal and prevent consequences associated with overweight/obesity strive to consume sufficient amounts of different vitamins.
This article featured four amazing vitamins to lose weight during menopause and the recommended daily values, start making changes today for healthier tomorrow.