Weight Loss Plus Vitamin D3 May Reduce Inflammation in Women

(HealthDay News) — Weight loss of 5% or more, combined with vitamin D3 supplementation, is associated with significant reductions in interleukin-6 in postmenopausal women, according to a study published recently in Cancer Prevention Research.

Catherine Duggan, PhD, from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues randomly assigned 218 postmenopausal women with a BMI greater than 25 and low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D to either weight-loss intervention plus 2,000 IU/day oral vitamin D3 or weight-loss intervention plus daily placebo for 12 months.

After adjustment for potential confounders, the mean changes in inflammatory biomarkers were compared between the arms.

The researchers observed no significant between-group differences in analyte changes at 12 months. Compared with participants randomly assigned to placebo, those who received vitamin D3 who lost 5% to 10% of baseline weight had significantly greater decreases in levels of interleukin-6, compared with those who gained weight or had no weight loss (−17.2% for placebo s. −37.3%for vitamin D; P=.004).

Participants who lost at least 10% of baseline weight had similar but attenuated results (−13.6% for placebo vs. −17.3% for vitamin D; P=.02). When stratified by weight loss, the effects of vitamin D3 supplementation on levels of interleukin-1-beta were inconsistent.

“Weight loss reduces inflammation, and thus represents another mechanism for reducing cancer risk,” Duggan said in a statement. “If ensuring that vitamin D levels are replete, or at an optimum level, can decrease inflammation over and above that of weight loss alone, that can be an important addition to the tools people can use to reduce their cancer risk.”


  1. Duggan C et al. Cancer Prev Res. 2015;doi:10.1158/1940-6207.