Weight loss vitamins and minerals

Vitamin and mineral supplements can be helpful during and after weight loss as many people on weight loss diets do not consume adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. Some common sources of nutrients such as calcium and vitamin E are found in high quantities in high calorie foods which people on weight loss diets tend to avoid.

Weight loss vitaminsWeight loss vitamins: B vitamins

B vitamins are essential for the metabolism of food and optimal intake is necessary to ensure that this takes place effectively. Biotin and pantothenic acid supplements have been used as weight loss vitamins.


Extra minerals may also be useful in preventing deficiency, especially in people whose fiber intakes are high, as fiber reduces absorption of calcium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and molybdenum.


Since weight loss usually involves a mild process of detoxification, with the body burning fat and sometimes other tissues, antioxidants may be useful. These include beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium.

Weight loss minerals: Chromium

Limited research suggests that moderate increases in chromium, in the form of chromium picolinate, may cause weight loss, reduce fat and increase muscle mass. Because of these reports, chromium picolinate supplements have become very popular.

Researchers involved in a 1997 study assessed the effects of chromium yeast and chromium picolinate on lean body mass in 36 obese patients during and after weight reduction with a very low calorie diet. During the 26-week treatment period, subjects received either placebo or 200 mcg chromium yeast or 200 mcg chromium picolinate in a double-blind manner. After 26 weeks, chromium picolinate-supplemented patients showed increased lean body mass whereas the other treatment groups still had reduced lean body mass.

In a 1997 study done at the University of Texas at Austin, researchers examined the effects of 400 mcg of chromium and exercise training on young, obese women. The results showed that exercise training combined with chromium nicotinate supplementation resulted in significant weight loss and lowered the insulin response to an oral glucose load.

Essential fatty acids

Essential fatty acid supplements may also be useful in improving fatty acid metabolism. This is particularly important if the diet is very low in fat. Coldpressed flaxseed oil is high in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and is a good way to obtain these oils. Usually, three or four teaspoons a day are adequate. As cofactors that help in fatty acid metabolism, zinc, magnesium, vitamins A, C, niacin, pyridoxine, biotin, choline and carnitine may also be useful.

Weight loss vitaminsOther nutrients

Other nutrients and supplements that have been used to help in weight loss include coenzyme Q10, acetyl-L-carntitine, spirulina and chitosan.


Herbs that have been used to aid in weight loss include brindleberry (Garcinia cambogia), chickweed (Stellaria media), bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus) and plantain (Plantago ovata).

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