Calcium Intake Does Not Aid Weight or Fat Loss
Some manufacturers of low fat dairy products have advertised that proper calcium intake can aid in weight loss. A study published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences looked at the effects of a calcium supplement on obese subjects placed on a reduced calorie diet. This particular study found that supplementation did not make any difference in the amount of weight or fat lost.
There were 40 subjects, all adults and obese according to body mass index standards. For 24 weeks the subjects were placed on a diet that was about 500 kcal below the daily energy intake necessary to maintain their weight. The subjects were divided into two groups, one that consumed 1000 mg of calcium carbonate daily and one that consumed a placebo supplement.
The researchers monitored body composition, weight, insulin, and blood pressure over the course of the study. They found that the only difference significant enough to take note of between the two groups was that the group supplementing with calcium carbonate had lower insulin levels about halfway through the study. Apparently it was not enough of a difference to cause any actual results as the groups did not differ in the amount of fat or weight lost on the reduced calorie diet.
Calcium carbonate is typically considered a low quality, poorly absorbed and utilized form of calcium, so it is possible that taking in an additional 1000 mg of calcium from food sources such as greens and dairy would have a measurable effect. Still, one would expect to see some change over the course of 24 weeks even with calcium carbonate. Supplementation with calcium is great for general health purposes, but it looks as though it won’t really do much of anything to help lose weight or body fat.
Shalileh M, Shidfar F, Haghani H, Eghtesadi S, & Heydari I. (2010). The influence of calcium supplement on body composition, weight loss and insulin resistance in obese adults receiving low calorie diet. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences : the Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. 15(4), 191-201.
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