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Vitamins and Minerals That Boost Metabolism

By Vikas Chandra Das
23 November 2022, 2:10 PM

The process by which a body breaks down and converts food and drink consumed into energy is known as the metabolic rate. The metabolic rate or the rate at which the body breaks down food and drink, varies from person to person. Those with a fast metabolism or a fast basal metabolic rate (BMR) burn more calories than those with a slow BMR. For the weight conscious, this means that those with a slow BMR are likely to burn less calories for the same quantity of food consumed, with the excess calories being stored as fat. Muscle mass, gender, age, body size and composition are the main factors that influence the metabolic rate. In addition, your speed of metabolism is influenced by your activity levels. Your body burns calories according to your level of physical activity.

There are some vitamins and minerals that are said to boost metabolism as well. Let us look at these and how they are said to work.

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Vitamins That Boost Metabolism

Vitamins are crucial to metabolism and help enzymes carry out their assigned function. This includes breaking-down amino acids and releasing energy from fats and carbohydrates.

Vitamin B

There are eight sub-categories of this vitamin that are said to affect metabolism - B-1 or thiamine, riboflavin or B-2, niacin or B-3, pantothenic acid or B-5,  B-6 or pyridoxine, B7 or biotin, B9 or folate and B-12 or cobalamin. Each of these are essential to different enzymes involved in the metabolic process, and a lack of one can affect the work of the other, thus disrupting the entire process.

Natural sources of Vitamin B include dairy products, eggs, seafood, lean meat, whole grains, vegetables such as potatoes, squash and spinach, nuts, seeds, and fruits such as grapes, apples, bananas and watermelon. Animal products, however, are the only known source of Vitamin B 12.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is naturally produced by the body on exposure to UV light. Today, the lack of Vitamin D is a common feature especially among urbanites who have limited or no exposure to direct sunlight. This vitamin is essential for maintaining calcium levels inside the body. Lack of Vitamin D has long been associated with rickets.

Sources: Exposure to sunlight is the best way to ensure sufficient Vitamin D synthesis. It is also available, albeit in very small quantities, in foods such as oily fish, liver, egg yolk and red meat. Fortified foods could also be a source of this vitamin, apart from dietary supplements.

Minerals That Boost Your Metabolism


The presence of sufficient calcium in the system is crucial to several physiological processes. It is said to have  a critical role in the processing and storage of fat in the body. People with high amounts of calcium in their diet have a lesser probability of being overweight or obese. It is believed that calcium directly impacts the body’s core temperature which in turn impacts the rate of metabolism.


While calcium supplements are easily available as OTC, there is no robust research to prove that supplements are actually beneficial. In fact, one section of the medical community is firmly of the opinion that calcium supplements could be dangerous as they often interfere with other medications. Some are also concerned with the effects of calcium supplements on heart health.

The best sources therefore are foods rich in calcium such as low fat milk and milk products, dark green leafy vegetables, almonds, oranges and soya beans. If you are accustomed to taking calcium supplements due to concerns about your bone health, you could protect yourself by regular walking, jogging and other exercise.


This mineral plays a vital role in protein synthesis, as well as the synthesis of nucleic acids. It is also believed to have regulated blood sugar as well as regulating the insulin level in those who are overweight or who suffer from obesity. There are more than 300 enzymes which are dependent on magnesium[1]. As such there is no limit to the amount of magnesium you can consume if you are doing so from food intake. Nor is it common for normally healthy people to have magnesium deficiency, unlike Vitamin D. Deficiency of this mineral is generally observed in persons with health issues such as Crohn's Disease, intestinal surgery, Type II diabetes or  chronic alcoholism.  An overdose of magnesium through supplements can be harmful to the system.


Foods rich in magnesium include nuts and seeds (roasted almonds, roasted cashew, roasted pumpkin seeds, roasted peanuts and flaxseed), legumes (endame, black beans and lima beans), fibre-rich whole grains (wheat, millets, quiona), low fat dairy products (mild and curd), fruits (bananas, apples, dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, beef, salmons, unpolished rice and chocolate. Water can also be a source of magnesium, though not always.


What is crucial to remember is that there are a host of factors responsible for good metabolism. Simply increasing vitamins and minerals through diet or supplements alone will not help. Exercise, building of muscle mass, exposure to the sun, and a well balanced diet help ensure a healthy metabolism. Keep in mind also that consumption of caffeine inhibits the absorption of essential nutrients. If totally impossible to avoid, do keep a gap of three hours between caffeine and food intake.


1. What are vitamins?

Vitamins are organic and essential micronutrients that are vital to body cell growth and cell functioning. A deficiency of Vitamin A is associated with night blindness, Vitamin B12 with anaemia, Vitamin C with scurvy, Vitamin D with rickets and Vitamin K with excessive bleeding during injury.

2. What are minerals?

Minerals in the context of human metabolism are essential micronutrients, which are typically inorganic elements or compounds that are present in nature. While they are not broken down for the release of energy, their presence is essential for enzymes to function.

3. What are enzymes?

Enzymes are essentially proteins, which act as catalysts in the metabolic process. They help break down complex molecules of fat, proteins and carbohydrates into smaller, simpler compounds that can be absorbed by the blood stream

4. What are rickets?

Rickets is a disease, usually occurring in children where the bones become soft and weak. It is usually due to inadequate nutrition.

5. Is there a difference between overweight and obese?

Yes. An individual with a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 is considered overweight, while those with BMIs of 30 and above are obese. People categorised as obese suffer considerably higher health risks than those who are only overweight.

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