3 Best Vitamins for Weight Loss
Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
We know there’s no magic pill for weight loss. Even prescription appetite suppressants are designed to be taken in addition to a diet and exercise program. However, if you’re attempting to lose weight and feel like you’re stalling, taking a vitamin supplement can help support your body and supercharge your weight loss efforts.
Diets can rob our bodies of essential vitamins and nutrients, and taking in more physical exercise can leave us feeling depleted. When we’re not getting the right amounts of the vitamins our body needs to be healthy, we can’t lose weight as successfully.
Let’s talk about metabolism, how it works, and why it’s important in your weight loss journey. We’ll also cover which vitamins are known to help support a healthy metabolism, and tell you how a little fatty acid may be the key to keeping your metabolism balanced and supported for optimum weight loss.
What is Metabolism?
“I can’t lose weight, I have a slow metabolism.”
You’ve heard practically everyone say it, including the little voice in your head that gets discouraged when you step on the scale. The truth is, a slow metabolism is pretty rare and not usually the reason why people gain weight.
Weight gain happens for various reasons:
- Consuming more calories than the body needs
- Not enough physical exercise
- Medication interactions
- Certain diseases
- Unhealthy lifestyle habits like lack of sleep, poor diet, and excessive alcohol use
Metabolism refers to the way our body breaks down the foods we eat into nutrients your cells need for energy. Everything that you eat or drink must be broken down and converted into glucose. Glucose is released into the bloodstream and either used immediately for energy, or stored for later use.
Insulin plays a major role in regulating the glucose in our bloodstream. Insulin helps glucose get into your cells for immediate use, and also turns excess glucose into glycogen, which can then be stored in the liver or muscles for later use.
When your blood sugar levels drop and you need more energy, glycogen is then converted back into glucose and released into the bloodstream.
This entire process of metabolising food into glucose and properly storing excess glucose must function properly in order for us to lose weight effectively.
What Happens When Metabolism Isn’t Balanced?
You may not have a slow metabolism, but you could have an unbalanced metabolism. Metabolic imbalances can cause you to experience weight gain, trouble losing weight, and even health problems that can place you at a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Metabolic syndrome is a condition that includes:
- High blood pressure
- Unhealthy cholesterol levels
- Insulin resistance
- Excess weight, especially around the midsection
Metabolic syndrome can cause you to experience trouble losing weight in addition to risking your heart health.
What Causes Metabolism To Become Imbalanced?
There are many factors that can contribute to an imbalanced metabolism. Genetics, how well you take care of yourself, and lifestyle factors all contribute to your metabolism and how well it functions. However, one of the major factors is age.
As we age, portions of our metabolic processes slow. It starts in our cells.
- Aging cells have weakened cell membranes. Cell membranes are what keep our cells protected and healthy, and ensure they can keep functioning properly without external stress.
- Aging cells have poorly functioning mitochondria. Mitochondrial function declines as we get older, leaving our cellular energy levels lower, which disrupts metabolic processes and slows them down.
- Aging cells have poor cellular signaling. Cells send messages to each other, which enable our metabolism to stay balanced. This messaging system can go awry with aging, resulting in imbalance metabolism and immunity.
As our cells get older, we get older. The processes in our cells that begin to decline have a trickle down effect on our bodies. Cells make up organs that begin to lose function. Those organs are parts of systems that begin to slow down.
This is why many people entering middle age feel their metabolism is “slowing down.” It isn’t that the metabolism has actually slowed down such that it would be classified medically as a slow metabolism. Rather, our cellular function is declining, which causes our metabolism to become imbalanced.
We can help support our cells by considering vitamins for weight loss and improved metabolic function. Here are three great supplements to consider.
The 3 Best Vitamins for Weight Loss
Cast aside your hopes for that magic diet pill, and focus on supporting your metabolism from the cellular level. Here are some great options for keeping your body strong and supported on your weight loss journey.
1. B Vitamins
B vitamins are crucial to a healthy metabolism. There are eight B vitamins, and each plays a specific rule in helping your body break down the food you eat to use for energy. B vitamins help metabolize the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates you intake.
Vitamin B1, for instance, plays a special role in the metabolism of carbohydrates. Being deficient in B vitamins will mean that your metabolism isn’t fully supported, and not able to function properly.
Most people are not deficient in B vitamins, but a simple blood test can help you determine whether or not you need to take a supplement. B vitamins are found in beans and legumes, dairy, lean meats (like chicken and fish), whole grains, some root vegetables like potatoes, citrus fruits, avocados, and bananas.
If you think you might be deficient, consider speaking with your healthcare provider to determine if taking a vitamin B supplement is a good fit for your health stack.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is classically known as the sunshine vitamin. Your body uses the sun’s ultraviolet rays to convert cholesterol in your skin cells to vitamin D. If you get enough sun exposure, you’ll get enough vitamin D.
The problem is, most of us spend a lot of our time indoors, or live in a region that doesn’t allow for as much sun exposure as our bodies need to make enough vitamin D. The foods that contain vitamin D (fish and eggs) may not be consumed in high enough quantities for you to get all the vitamin D you need. If you’re vegan, you can consume foods fortified with vitamin D like cereal and soy milk.
Vitamin D doesn’t directly play an active role in your metabolism, but it does play an important role in your immunity. Low levels of circulating vitamin D are associated with autoimmune disorders and increased risk of infection. Both conditions can make weight loss virtually impossible, or at least hamper it for a period of time.
Lower circulating levels of vitamin D are also found in people who are obese, which shows there’s definitely a connection between adequate vitamin D levels and healthy weigh maintenance.
3. Pentadecanoic Acid (C15:0)
It may be surprising, but a certain type of fatty acid may be the most effective supplement you can take to help you lose weight. Pentadecanoic acid (also known as C15:0) is an odd-chain saturated fatty acid that helps support your metabolism on the cellular level, where the breakdown of your metabolism begins.*
- Stronger cell membranes. Metabolic breakdown begins at the cell wall, and C15:0 helps promote healthy cell membranes by making sure they are fortified. C15:0 digs into cell walls, strengthening them and keeping them protected against external stressors. C15:0 helps protect your cells’ first line of defense, which ensures they can keep functioning properly.
- Increased mitochondrial function. Your cells’ powerhouses are running on a skeleton crew. C15:0 helps increase mitochondrial function by up to 45%, increasing cellular energy and improving metabolic function.
- Improved cellular signaling. Pentadecanoic acid is also specifically involved in keeping your metabolism functioning properly by binding to PPAR receptors in your brain and body that regulate your metabolism, mood, immunity, and even your sleep patterns.†
PPAR receptors also regulate appetite, which can be crucial in managing your weight and meeting your weight loss goals.
C15:0 is only found in trace amounts in whole fat dairy products, and in some types of fish. Whole fat milk or butter, however, contains much higher levels of ‘bad’ even-chain saturated fatty acids (like C16:0), which continue to be associated with poor health. As such, it can be difficult to get enough C15:0 through your diet without intaking unhealthy amounts of even-chain saturated fatty acids, and possibly increasing your chance for weight gain.
This is where fatty15 comes in.
Fatty15 is a once-a-day supplement that gives you pure FA15™, a vegan-friendly, and pure powder form of C15:0. Taking fatty15 each day can help support your metabolism and help you meet your weight loss goals faster by giving your cells a fighting chance as they age.*
Weight loss can be challenging, but you can do it! You can commit to lifestyle changes that support a healthy body, and take supplements that help keep you energized and supported.
Fatty15 gives your body the essential aid it needs to balance your metabolism, help manage your appetite, and increase your cellular stability.
Eric Venn-Watson M.D.
Senior Scientist, Co-Founder
Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.