Several Scientific Studies how Calcium Helps Weight Loss

Several Scientific Studies how Calcium Helps Weight Loss

Calcium and Weight Loss

Several Scientific Studies how Calcium Helps Weight Loss
High Calcium Intake - Increases Weight Loss

Researchers at the CU-Health Sciences Center''s Center for Human Nutrition reported recently that calcium may help control body
weight, confirming findings from other studies. The report, published in February''s International Journal of Obesity, is the first study
in humans to demonstrate a mechanistic link between calcium intake and body weight.

Edward Melanson, PhD, and James Hill, PhD, examined diet data from 35 healthy, non-obese adults during a 24-hour period and
measured their daily energy expenditures. They found that those individuals who consumed more calcium used more fat as fuel
compared to those with lower calcium intakes.

The idea that calcium intake may be related to body weight has been supported by several studies in the past decade. Studies in
rats and mice suggest that higher calcium intake alters the metabolism of fat cells, causing less fat to be stored and more fat to be
released. Whether this also occurs in humans was not known.


Children and Weight

At first mention, one would not suspect the level of calcium intake in childhood would affect the risk of being overly fat. Yet, an
analysis of results from a study of 178 children aged three to five years, studied over a year for dietary habits, exercise and body
composition, has indeed found that calcium intake sometimes affects body fat.

Those children with lower calcium intakes (many were below accepted standards), but not those with higher dietary calcium intake,
benefited from calcium supplements by gaining less body fat during the study. This effect was evident more so in boys than in girls.
Since this was an observational study, the mechanisms of action of calcium''s effect were not investigated. But it does appear that
having a generous calcium intake in preschool children may help prevent incipient obesity.

Source: DeJongh ED, et al. Am J Clin Nutr 2006; 84 (5): 1123-7.

Calcium Can Help With Diet Efforts
by Mary Shomon

June 2004 -- A new study has found that consumption of calcium, and particularly, when the calcium comes from dairy foods,
helps people lose more weight and fat than others eating the same calories. In the study, 41 obese people went on diets designed
to achieve one pound a week weight loss, over a 24-week period. The group was divided -- some of the participants had
low-calcium diets (no more than 430 mg a day), some had the same diet, plus supplementation to reach 1200 mg per day, and the
rest had enough dairy to reach 1100 mg per day.

All the participants who completed the study lost weight. The low-calcium group lost an average of 15 pounds, the high-calcium
group 19 pounds, and the high dairy group 24 pounds.

Are Calcium and Weight Loss Linked?

In the late 1980s, scientists were studying the effects of calcium on high blood pressure. They were hoping to show that increasing
calcium intake would lower people''s blood pressure. In the preliminary tests, it did lower blood pressure -- and the scientists were
also amazed to find that the average participant in the study lost 11 pounds of weight, suggesting that calcium and weight loss
may be related.

Surprisingly, the calcium in this experiment was given by feeding the participants 2 pounds of yogurt a day -- yogurt with plenty of
calories and fat! Encouraged by these results, researchers started conducting other studies to see if calcium and weight loss were

A recent review of studies by the United States National Institutes of Health showed some very interesting results in terms of
calcium and weight loss. People who were overweight ate little amounts of calcium. People who lost a lot of weight ate the most
The Mechanism Behind Calcium and Weight Loss

Much more research on calcium and weight loss is needed -- that''s for sure. Yet, the research so far is promising. However, on the
relationship between calcium and weight loss, no clear mechanism has been found.

One theory is that not getting enough calcium in your diet puts your body into something like the starvation mode you get when
you don''t eat enough food. Lack of calcium may cause changes in hormones and the mechanism that stores fat, and thereby
causes you to gain weight. Getting enough calcium may reverse this process and enable you to lose weight or maintain a healthy
weight. If you''re trying to lose weight, consuming dietary calcium probably isn''t the best way to go. Dairy products are generally
high in fat. In terms of calcium and weight loss, you may be better off with a supplement that has next-to-no calories or fat.

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