Can a Multivitamin Help You Lose Weight?

New studies suggest taking a multivitamin may help you lose weight.

Getting adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals is vital for proper metabolism. Metabolism is the chemical reaction that your body uses to turn the food you eat into energy. Some vitamins, such as the B vitamins, play an important role in metabolizing dietary carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Obese individuals are more likely to have either lower blood concentrations of vitamins and minerals.

A study published in a 2010 issue of the “International Journal of Obesity” followed 96 obese female participants to determine the effect of multivitamins and minerals on calorie expenditure. After six months, the participants who took a multivitamin supplement daily had significantly lower body weight and fat than those who took a placebo or calcium supplements, even without changing their diet.

Another study published in the “British Journal of Nutrition” in 2008 also found weight loss benefits from multivitamins. Their results showed that use of a multivitamin enhanced weight loss and reduced hunger: “[c]ompared with non-consumers, male consumers of [multivitamins] had a lower body weight, fat mass, BMI, and a tendency for greater resting energy expenditure. [F]emale supplements[multivitamins] consumers had lower disinhibition and hunger scores” (Major et al, 2008).

Other studies have found similar results:

  • A long-term observational study of over 15,000 Americans showed that subjects who took multivitamin, B6, B12, or chromium supplements gained less weight over the 8-12 year followup than those who did not.
  • An animal study of obese rats showed that multivitamin supplements resulted in loss of body weight and improved energy metabolism.


Li, Y., Wang, C., Zhu, K., Feng, R., & Sun, C. (2010). Effects of multivitamin and mineral supplementation on adiposity, energy expenditure and lipid profiles in obese Chinese women. Retrieved from:

Major, G., Doucet, E., Jacqmain, M., & St-Onge, M. (2008). Multivitamin and dietary supplements, body weight and appetite: results from a cross-sectional and a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled study. Retrieved from: