Stop us if you've heard this one before: there's no magic pill for weight loss. Yes, that includes vitamin supplements, said Vanessa Rissetto, MS, registered dietitian and co-founder of Culina Health. (PS: Here's your reminder to talk to your doctor before you start taking any kind of supplement, including vitamins.)
"I wouldn't recommend taking any supplements with the intention of having it help you lose weight," Rissetto told POPSUGAR. "That's not actually a thing. If there was a vitamin you could take or a food source you could eat that would help with your weight, then everyone would be on it."
Can Vitamins Help You Lose Weight?
So, no, there's no one vitamin you can take to help you lose weight. That said, Rissetto noted that some vitamins can have an indirect effect on your weight. Vitamin B, for example, keeps your metabolism fully functioning, allowing your body to continuously convert calories into energy. Having low levels of vitamin B means your metabolism won't be working as efficiently as it could, which can hinder your weight loss goals. And if you're low in iron, Rissetto added, you might experience fatigue, weakness, and low energy levels, which could make working out more difficult and lead to difficulty with weight loss.
Some research has also found a correlation between vitamin D and weight loss, with one 2011 study noting that overweight people who took calcium and vitamin D supplements lost more belly fat than people who didn't take supplements. Exactly how vitamin D relates to weight loss and management, though, is unclear. It can help ease symptoms of depression, Rissetto pointed out, which can include weight gain or a change in eating behaviours, but the reason behind the the vitamin D-weight loss connection remains unknown.
While these vitamins could all be factors in weight loss or weight gain, "saying that one vitamin is going to help with weight loss doesn't really tell the entire story," Rissetto said, "and we haven't seen that to be the case."
So, if weight loss is your goal, adding vitamin supplements to your diet probably won't get you where you want to go. Rissetto's advice? Fuel your body in a way that works for you, by consuming "adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables (where you can get these vitamins) while honouring your preferences." You'll feel better and be in a great place to hit your goals, whether they include weight loss or not.