Vitamin D deficiency has almost reached epidemic status. This vitamin and hormone is created by the body but needs sunlight to manufacture it. Since more people are avoiding the sun and using sunblock, vitamin D levels are plummeting, which is bad news for body fat. A study published in the journal Nutrition showed that people who have higher levels of vitamin D have more muscle and less fat on their frame. Researchers believe that muscle cells that get too little vitamin D break down muscle proteins faster. It’s nearly impossible to get enough vitamin D from food. Even whole food purists admit that supplementation is the way to go with this nutrient. You can ask your doctor for a simple blood test to determine your needs, but supplementing with 2,000 to 5,000 IU a day is generally considered safe.