Women going through menopause are at risk for becoming overweight or obese. As your hormones fluctuate, it becomes harder to redistribute fat evenly across the body, and you may start putting on weight on your abdomen. If you don’t watch your diet and lifestyle, weight gain can easily lead to obesity, which can place you at risk for hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and cancer. The good news is that the risk for obesity and its related conditions can be reduced by good nutrition, regular exercise, and vitamins for menopause. Here are the three most important vitamins that can help you shake off those extra pounds.

1. Vitamin D

Current research shows that obesity is associated with low blood levels of vitamin D. While scientists are still trying to explain the relationship between the two, the most popular theory states that vitamin D deficiencies can interfere with the body’s production of the hormone leptin. Leptin is a hormone secreted by fat cells and is needed to regulate weight. It appears that if there are low levels of leptin in the body, the brain believes that there is too little fat and sends impulses that spur you to keep on eating. Obesity itself was also found to aggravate vitamin D deficiencies because the nutrient gets deposited and trapped in body fat, unable to perform its actions.

Increasing your vitamin D consumption can be as simple as spending more time under the sun; sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, which is easily absorbed by the skin. Make sure you slather on lots of sunscreen though – too much sun exposure is the primary cause of wrinkles and other more serious health problems. Vitamin D can also be found in cod liver oil and in deep sea fatty fish like salmon. One of the easiest and safest ways to get it is through vitamin supplementation. The average dose of vitamin D is 2,000-3,000 IU for a 150-pound woman.

2. Choline

The accumulation of liver fat has been found to cause obesity and insulin insensitivities. Lowering your fat consumption is one way to stave off weight gain, but you can expedite the process by increasing your choline consumption. Choline is a vitamin B-like substance that works together with folate and inositol. Choline has been found to reverse liver damage, lower cholesterol, and even prevent certain types of cancer; without this nutrient, fats can remain trapped in the liver. Although our body produces small amounts of choline, it is important to increase your dietary consumption of this nutrient if you want to prevent weight gain. The recommended daily dosage is 450mg.

3. Inositol

Like choline, inositol is part of the vitamin B family and is good for reducing menopause symptoms in general. However, it has also been found to increase the effectiveness of choline in terms of getting rid of fat from the liver and redistributing body fat. Inositol also combines with choline to create a lipid called lecithin, which helps bind cholesterol and fat molecules to water so they can be easily excreted from the body. Cell membrane structure is also made out of lecithin. Finally, inositol improves the body’s absorption of thiamin, prevents eczema, and promotes the growth of healthy-looking hair. Inositol is available in 500mg supplements, but it should be consumed with choline and other B vitamins for best results.

Vitamins For Menopause – Three to Keep the Weight Off by Karen A. Hamilton