Weight control is an essential aspect of good health. Taking vitamin and mineral supplements in addition to a balanced daily diet can give your body the nutritional support it needs for optimal metabolism. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that two in three Americans need to control their weight. Being overweight increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Vitamins and minerals act as catalysts, speeding up reactions which can result in weight loss. The B vitamins are essential for metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates. Vitamin B12 aids in red blood cell formation. Red blood cells deliver oxygen to the body. If you exercise to lose weight, an increase in red blood cells can increase your endurance by increasing your body’s efficiency in producing energy.
Vitamins and Metabolism
Several vitamins play a key role in metabolism. Like vitamin B12, vitamin A supports red blood cell formation in the body. It will also assist in the removal of free radicals produced from oxygen metabolism. Vitamin B2 helps the body use oxygen more efficiently. Biotin and pantothenic acid support healthy carbohydrate metabolism. The combined action of these vitamins aids weight loss by allowing the body to properly metabolize and process the foods you eat.
Minerals and Energy Production
Magnesium illustrates the complex role in which different nutrients play in the body. Many metabolic reactions depend upon this mineral. It is also required for the formation of ATP, the energy currency of the human body. Magnesium is required by every cell to function. Another important mineral for maintaining a healthy weight is chromium. This nutrient is specifically involved with sugar metabolism and helps to balance normal blood sugar levels by enhancing the effects of insulin.
Many of the vitamins which support metabolism and weight loss are water-soluble. This means that they are not stored in great quantities in the body. Therefore, to get the greatest benefit of vitamins for weight loss, you must be sure to eat a daily balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. With minerals, it may take your body some time before you begin to see results.
It is essential to follow the suggested usage guidelines for vitamin and mineral supplements. The temptation may be that more is better for weight loss and health. However, large amounts of any nutrient can potentially cause negative health impacts. In addition, some vitamins and minerals may have adverse drug interactions. For example, you may increase your risk of bleeding if you take vitamin A while on blood-thinners. Consult your doctor before adding any nutritional supplement to your diet.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Obesity and Overweight
- National Institutes of Health: Vitamins
- Teach PE: Long-Term Effects of Exercise
- Linus Pauling Institute: Magnesium
- Linus Pauling Institute: Chromium
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Possible Interactions with: Vitamin A (Retinol)