Vitamins do not speed up metabolism unless your dietary intake of essential nutrients is inadequate. In this case, taking multivitamins may meet your body's nutrients needs, allowing your metabolism to function more efficiently. For example, low levels of vitamin B6 are associated with a decrease in brain serotonin levels which could result in an increased appetite, leading to more food consumption and potential weight gain.
Some people may blame multivitamins for weight gain or a lack of weight loss because they ignore the bigger picture of their overall lifestyle. This is especially true of people who take multivitamins because their diet is otherwise lacking.If you are taking multivitamins because you are not eating healthily, you are inactive, or because you are on a restrictive diet, it could be these associated behaviours that are responsible for weight gain, not the multivitamin. You can find the right multivitamin for you but remember vitamins should supplement a healthy lifestyle, not replace it.
Men who regularly consumed vitamin and dietary supplements had a lower body weight, fat mass, and body mass index compared to men who did not take multivitamins.The same study found there was a trend towards similar results in the opposite sex, and women taking a multivitamin also experienced reduced hunger levels. A multivitamin and mineral supplement was found to significantly decrease appetite ratings in women after weight loss, compared with a placebo group which had also lost weight.
According to the researchers, vitamins and minerals are involved in the synthesis of hunger hormones such as insulin, leptin and cortisol that control food intake.
Much research points towards stress as a major culprit. Each time we stress, our cortisol levels rise and the stress hormone increases the level of glucose in the bloodstream to help us deal with the stressor.
Unfortunately, many people suffer from chronic stress, meaning their cortisol levels are raised for long periods of time.
A recent study from 2017 published in Obesity Society Research Journal suggests that high stress lifestyles lead to weight gain.By looking at cortisol levels in hair, which is an indicator of long term cortisol levels, the study found that there is a positive correlation between chronic stress and excess weight.
People tend to reach for high energy or “comfort” foods when stressed, which is why it is important to practice mindfulness and learn how to destress when necessary.Try meditation, yoga and exercise and be sure to have a diet filled with nutrient rich foods.
First published 29th March 2011