Do Opioids Make You Lose Weight?

One of the most common side effects of pain medication is weight gain. In fact, the American Pain Society (APS) reports that 60% of patients experience weight gain as a result of the use of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).[1] This could be a serious harm to those who are already at a healthy weight and want to keep it that way. Fortunately, there is an alternative to these oft-prescribed medications; one that may help to promote weight loss, increase energy, and improve sleep quality – vitamin D3.

Also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin,’ vitamin D is considered to be one of the most important vitamins you need for your body. It is available in nature as ergocalciferol (vitD2) or cholecalciferol (vitD3). While ergocalciferol is suitable for human and veterinary use, cholecalciferol is recommended for prescription. When taken in high doses, it can help to reduce the incidence of some cancers, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Research suggests that vitamin D may also play a role in energy homeostasis, appetite, and mood. [2]

The fact that vitamin D can have so many perks is why it is found in most health supplements. However, you need to take this vitamin in high doses to see any significant results. Thankfully, doctors can prescribe you high doses of vitamin D, when needed.

How Does Vitamin D Help To Make You Lose Weight?

Like many other vitamins and supplements, vitamin D3 has been shown in research to help regulate the appetite. In particular, it has been proven to activate the brain’s alpha-2 adrenergic receptors. These are the same receptors that are engaged when you eat something that you feel is appealing; you feel hungry when they are activated. [3]

Vitamin D can also reduce food intake by directly acting on the brain. In particular, it has been found to directly influence the hypothalamus. This is a part of the brain that is concerned with homeostasis – the maintenance of healthy body functions and structures. It has been found that vitamin D can reduce the homeostatic drive (the urge to eat) which is why it helps to make you lose weight. [4]

In addition to its effects on appetite and food intake, vitamin D has also been shown in research to help promote skeletal muscle growth. Specifically, it has been proven to increase muscle mass and muscle function when administered in high doses. [5] This is an important fact to bear in mind if you are interested in boosting your physical performance or want to achieve a more sculpted physique.

The Dangers Of Not Getting Enough Vitamin D

Just like many other vitamins, your body does not produce vitamin D on its own. Therefore, you need to get it from external sources – such as food or supplements. Some of the risks associated with not getting enough vitamin D include muscle weakness, bone injury, impaired mental function, and even increased cancer risk. [6] While we need vitamin D for healthy skin and bones, it is important to remember that we are also meant to get our vitamin D from the sun. So, avoiding exposure to the sun during the peak hours of the day (between 10 am and 4 pm) could increase your risks of vitamin D deficiency.

When Should You Get Vitamin D?

Based on your skin tone, you need to get at least 5-7 µg of vitamin D per day if you are within the United States. If you are in Canada you should aim for 10-14 µg to stay within acceptable limits. If you are in the UK you should aim for about 15 µg per day. If you are in Australia you should aim for about 20 µg per day. If you are in Europe you should aim for about 20 µg per day. However, bear in mind that your vitamin D requirements increase depending on the season. During the summer months you should aim for more vitamin D since more sun exposure means that your skin can make more vitamin D.

Taking Vitamin D With Food

It is important to remember that vitamin D is very sensitive to heat. This means that it is best taken with food – especially since the body does not always absorb vitamin D well when taken on its own (as an oral supplement). You should also avoid taking vitamin D in excess, since high doses could cause toxic effects. If you suspect that you may have too little vitamin D in your system, or if you take it in high doses, you should contact your doctor so that he can adjust your dosage or have you get a blood test to check for possible toxicity.


While all vitamin D is not created equal and there are risks associated with not getting enough vitamin D, it is still considered to be a nutrient that we need to consider for overall health. Just remember that the risks always outweigh the benefits when it comes to any medication or supplement – so make sure that you are aware of what those are before you start taking it.