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For many people, making an effort to change weight – whether up or down – can be challenging. Not only does the process often require significant lifestyle changes, but it’s not uncommon for someone trying to lose or gain weight to be unsuccessful at first – a problem that can occur for a variety of reasons. If you are trying to gain weight, whether as part of nutritional support during cancer or to recover from any other health issue, you’ve probably tried to find out what foods or supplements can help you in your efforts. One common question is, “What vitamin helps with weight gain?” To find out more about the relationship between vitamins and weight, keep readings as the experts at ENU explain.
Why You Might Need to Gain Weight
With all the attention that’s paid to the process of losing weight, those looking to put on some pounds can easily be overlooked. Regardless, it’s important that everyone maintain a healthy weight, even if that means gaining weight.
There are many reasons why a person might need to gain weight, some of which are cosmetic, while others are related to a serious health issue that may have caused significant and unwanted weight loss. For instance, nutritional support for cystic fibrosis patients is important because this illness can make it tough for the body to process and absorb foods and nutrients, which can make it difficult to gain or maintain weight as needed. Some other common reasons why you might need to gain weight include:
- Thyroid issues, particularly hyperthyroidism
- Digestive problems, such as Crohn’s disease
- Mental illness, including depression, anxiety, or eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia
- Minor illnesses, such as the flu
This list is just a small sample of the possible reasons a person could need to gain weight. If you’re not sure whether this applies to you, calculate your BMI using an online calculator or this formula: Take your weight (in pounds) and divide it by your height (in inches) squared, then multiply the result by 703. If your BMI is below 18.5, you are considered underweight and may need to talk to your doctor about gaining weight.
How Vitamins Can Help with Weight Gain
One other possible reason you need to gain weight is a nutritional deficiency, which could take the form of a lack of certain vitamins. For example, if you’re low on vitamin B-1, also known as thiamine, your body may burn calories at an increased rate, and you could experience a decrease in appetite – both factors that could cause unwanted weight loss. In this instance, taking a supplement that offers vitamin B-1 may increase your appetite and help you gain weight. However, it should be noted that this method of helping with weight gain may only be effective for those with the relevant deficiency.
In addition to vitamin B-1, other vitamins and minerals that could have an impact on weight gain include the following:
One of the most well-known vitamins, vitamin B-12 is important for ensuring a healthy brain and nervous system, and it’s a crucial part of cellular metabolism as well. Without adequate amounts of this nutrient, you may experience symptoms similar to those of a person with depression, including a loss of appetite that can make it tough to gain weight. Supplementing with vitamin B-12 may help alleviate these symptoms and assist your weight gain efforts.
Though it’s most often associated with the body’s immune response, vitamin C also plays a role in metabolizing iron, which means that a lack of vitamin C can lead to anemia – one of the symptoms of which is a loss of appetite or weight loss. If you are struggling to gain weight, it could be due to vitamin deficiency anemia caused by a lack of vitamin C, in which case supplementing with this nutrient may improve your condition and help you gain weight.
Like vitamin C, vitamin B-9 (also known as folate or folic acid) contributes to the formation of red blood cells, so not having enough vitamin B-9 in your system could cause anemia and make it more difficult to gain weight. If so, adding this vitamin to your diet might improve the results of your weight gain efforts.
Not having enough zinc in your body can significantly affect your ability to taste certain foods, and it may also reduce your appetite. By increasing your zinc intake, you may be able to stimulate your appetite and gain weight more easily and effectively.
As mentioned in the vitamin B-1 example discussed above, vitamins only seem to help with weight gain if a lack of one or more vitamins is preventing you from putting on some pounds. If you suspect that you may be lacking in vitamins or other key nutrients, talk to your doctor about the possibility and ask whether supplementing with vitamins could help with weight gain.
Try ENU Nutritional Shakes and Powders to Help You Gain Weight
At ENU, we know that gaining weight is about more than just calories; it’s about proper nutrition, too. That’s why every meal replacement shake or powdered nutritional supplement we offer includes protein, vitamins, and other essential nutrients to ensure that you gain weight in a balanced, healthy way, plus the calories you need to add the weight you want. To learn more about how ENU products can improve your weight gain efforts, visit us online or call (855) 266-6733 today.