Weight Loss Sabotaged by Poor Gut Microbiota and Vitamin Deficiency

Vitamin B, Vitamin D, gut microbiota, overweight, obese, obesity, weight loss, lose weight, weight gain, metabolites, gut

A clinical study review led by researchers from the Sorbonne University in Paris found that increasing Vitamin B and Vitamin D levels in overweight people could lead to the kind of changes in gut microbiota that can, in some people, promote weight loss.

The review looked at recent clinical trials and literature from around the world, examining the role Vitamin D and B plays in gut microbiota and obesity, and reported the following findings:

  • Low Vitamin B6 serum concentrations were reported in severely obese study participants compared to those who were not obese.
  • Significant negative correlation was reported between BMI and vitamin B12 blood concentrations in a study of almost 1000 people with obesity
  • Up to 75 % of patients with Type 2 Diabetes presented with low blood concentrations of Vitamin B1
  • In one study involving obese people, over half of the participants were found to be deficient in Vitamin D
  • In another study of over 2500 people, low Vitamin D serum levels were associated with increased insulin resistance in overweight or obese participants
  • Low Vitamin D levels were observed in overweight pregnant women in comparison to those with a healthy BMI.

In recent years there has been increased interest in the role gut microbiota plays in modulating a range of health conditions, including obesity. Gut microbiota refers to the highly complex ecosystem of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, archaea, fungi and phages, that live within the gut. These microorganisms play key roles in metabolism and trigger the production of metabolites which are known to modulate the immune response and intestinal barrier homeostasis.

Numerous studies [2] have reported low levels of bacterial richness and diversity in the gut microbiota of obese people. This disparity is known as gut microbiota dysbiosis and is the subject of numerous research projects across the world looking for an answer to some of the western world’s most common and chronic health conditions.

The review points to a study conducted by the American Gut Project where Vitamin B supplements were given to two groups of participants – the first group comprised 997 people of normal weight and the second group comprised 773 overweight people. The Vitamin B supplementation had minimal effect on the normal weight group, however the overweight group recorded significant decreases in levels of a certain phylum and bacterial family – the Tenericutes family (Mogibacteriaceae, Porphyromonadaceae, Coriobacteriaceae and Comamonadaceae). According to the review authors,

“All these bacterial families have been associated with infections, inflammation and even obesity in the literature, suggesting that Vitamin B supplementation in the context of obesity could help decrease the abundance of pathogens in the gut microbiota.”

The review also found that when a combined Vitamin B and D supplement was taken by a cohort of overweight people, a decrease of Lachnospiraceae and Enterobacteriaceae was observed. These two bacteria, when present at high levels, have been associated with obesity and the production of harmful endotoxins.

Note from National Custom Compounding: We have over 15 years’ experience personalising vitamin supplements and other forms of medications to assist in weight loss. For more information on the safety, quality and efficacy of our productscontact National Custom Compounding on 1300 731 755 or [email protected].  We’re always happy to chat.


  1. Jiang S, Zhu Q, Mai M, Yang W, Du G. Vitamin B and vitamin D as modulators of gut microbiota in overweight individuals. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2020 Dec;71(8):1001-1009. doi: 10.1080/09637486.2020.1748580. Epub 2020 Apr 14. PMID: 32283946.
  2. Bellerba F, Muzio V, Gnagnarella P, Facciotti F, Chiocca S, Bossi P, Cortinovis D, Chiaradonna F, Serrano D, Raimondi S, Zerbato B, Palorini R, Canova S, Gaeta A, Gandini S. The Association between Vitamin D and Gut Microbiota: A Systematic Review of Human Studies. Nutrients. 2021 Sep 26;13(10):3378. doi: 10.3390/nu13103378. PMID: 34684379; PMCID: PMC8540279.

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