Can vitamins cause weight gain?

Vitamins & obesity

Vitamins don’t cause weight gain. They have no calories. But, vitamin deficiencies or extreme doses for a long time can lead to obesity.

Above all, we should follow a well-balanced diet which provides adequate amounts of vitamins, in order, to maintain a healthy body weight.

In any case, we shouldn’t take supplements without checking our blood levels and consulting our doctor!

Keep in mind that many foods are fortified with vitamins. Therefore, you may not need additional supplementation. Food fortification is a common reason of vitamin overdose which may lead to obesity!

The vitamin B-complex may cause weight gain

Actually, the supplementation of some vitamins may cause weight gain. You should avoid excess intake of vitamin B1, B2, B5, or B6 from supplements. They can cause significant increase in body fat.[1] These vitamins are required for the synthesis of fat from carbs and protein.

So, you better avoid fortified cereals, if you want to lose weight. The combination of high doses of the vitamin B-complex, with carbs from cereal may increase insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and obesity!

A well-balanced diet can provide adequate doses of the vitamin B-complex for healthy people.

On the contrary, we may benefit from vitamin B12 supplements. Neither plants, nor animals synthesize it. So, food may not provide enough vitamin B12.[2]

High doses of vitamin C & vitamin E may cause obesity

Certainly, we should take high doses of vitamin C & E from food. They’re necessary for health, as they’ve powerful antioxidant properties. But, when used in extreme doses, they can increase oxidative stress in the body which is a common cause of weight gain.[1]

Even athletes should avoid extreme daily dosages of vitamin C! They may be bad for athletic performance and muscle growth! More here.

Vitamin deficiencies can cause weight gain

On the other hand, vitamin deficiencies are a common reason for obesity.

To name a few, we need adequate amounts of vitamin D, iron, zinc, potassium, selenium, melatonin, serotonin and taurine in order, to have a healthy body weight.

For example, vitamin D prevents the synthesis, and storage, of new fat tissue. Moreover, vitamin D improves body composition. More about the importance of vitamin D for weight loss here.

The human body can synthesize vitamins and hormones, or we need to take them from food. Only in cases of acute deficiencies, and after consulting our doctor, we should take supplements.

Above all, you should prefer to take vitamins from food, not supplements. As a rule of thumb, vitamins from supplements won’t make you fat. But, they may interfere with medication, or even cause toxicity in excess amounts.

Should I take supplements to lose weight?

As a rule of thumb, healthy people who follow a well-balanced diet can preserve a healthy body weight without taking supplements. But, there are vitamins, such as vitamin B12 and vitamin D which their deficiency is pretty common. Overweight people who want to lose weight may benefit from taking vitamin B12 and vitamin D supplements.[3]

Additionally, the supplementation of vitamin B12 and vitamin D hasn’t been linked to weight gain. On the contrary, supplementation of vitamin B12 and vitamin D is considered pretty safe.