Calcium and Weight Loss

Gradually some studies have been made with a purpose to clarify whether calcium has a slimming effect or not.

It started with a study showing that women who received 1000 mg calcium a day with their diet weighted an average of 8 kg less than women who did not get this supplement. This got the U.S. dairy industry alert with reports that low-fat dairy products may have slimming effects. It is well known that milk contains a great amount of calcium, but it has been difficult for researchers to provide proof of the underlying mechanism.
One theory is that calcium increases fat burning. Another theory is that calcium binds fat in the intestine so that it does not get absorbed.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is also involved. Here is one theory that the active form of vitamin D from the diet: D3 called calcitriol increases its activity so that the body’s fat cells accumulate more fat if the total calcium absorbtion is low. Conversely, a high calcium intake lowers calcitriol activity whereby the consequence is an increased fat burning. This theory, however, contradicts other research, which links the D-vitamin deficiency to obesity just as we see that the vitamin D deficiency in young and elderly is widespread both in the U.S. and in Denmark to a degree that there is talk about adding vitamin D to a range of foods. In the U.S., consumers have for years been able to buy milk, yogurt, margarine, flour, breakfast cereals and juices fortified with vitamin D.
More than 30 other studies have not been able to confirm that milk has a slimming effect though.
There have also been some studies that have not shown a slimming effect of calcium from dietary supplements. The speculation has been on whether the failure is due to the use of inorganic calcium (calcium carbonate) or it is because the calcium have been taken once a day away from a meal so that the calcium can´t be included as a co-factor with different proteins which is possible in milk.

Recent research seems to confirm the theory that calcium can promote a weight loss, but only if the person is suffering from calcium deficiency.

 

Yes we can                                                                    
According to research published by British Journal of Nutrition, it is actually possible for people with overweight and calcium deficiency to lose up to 6 kg with an organic calcium supplement.

Calcium deficiency in this context, means a daily calcium intake of less than 600 mg of calcium.

The theory to explain the connection is not uninteresting: Scientists assume that, our brain registers the lack of calcium in the diet, after which it tries to compensate by increasing our appetite. Conversely, an adequate calcium intake suppress the urge to eat more.

The researchers conclude that an adequate daily calcium intake is an important factor for the success of weight loss programs. Researchers experienced that more than half of the overweight women who came to their clinic while the study was on, got too little calcium.

References 

  • Davies KM, et al. Calcium intake and body weight. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2000;85(12):4635-8.

  • Zemel MB The role of dairy foods in weight management. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005;24(6 Suppl): 537S-46S.

  • Morris KL, Zemel MB. 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 modulation of adipocyte glucocorticoid function. Obesity research. 2005;13(4): 670-7.

  • Kremer R, et al. Vitamin D Status and Its Relationship to Body Fat, Final Height, and Peak Bone Mass in Young Women J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2009 94: 67-73.

  • Lorenzen JK, et al. Effect of dairy calcium or supplementary calcium intake on postprandial fat metabolism, appetite, and subsequent energy intake. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85(3):678-87.

  • Major GC,et al. Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and fat mass loss in female very low-calcium consumers: potential link with a calcium-specific appetite control. Br J Nutr. 2009;101(5):659-63

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