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Calcium and Vitamin D Supplementation May Assist Fat Loss


A new study found that calcium and vitamin D supplementation may be beneficial in facilitating fat loss for people adopting to an energy-restricted diet.

Dietary calcium, a non-energy-supplying nutrient, has been identified as playing a pivotal role in the regulation of energy and lipid metabolism. Observational studies have demonstrated calcium intake is inversely associated with body weight, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Higher vitamin D intake and elevated level of serum 25(OH)D have been reported to be related to lower adiposity and metabolic health

A new study investigated the effect of calcium plus vitamin D3 (calcium+D) supplementation on anthropometric and metabolic profiles during energy restriction in healthy, overweight (BMI>=24) and obese (BMI>=28) adults with very-low calcium consumption (<600mg/day).

Forty-three subjects were randomly assigned in an open-label, randomized controlled trial to receive either an energy-restricted diet (−500 kcal/d) supplemented with 600 mg elemental calcium and 125 IU vitamin D3 or energy restriction alone for 12 weeks.  Repeated measurements of variance were performed to evaluate the differences between groups for changes in body weight, BMI, body composition, waist circumference, and blood pressures, as well as plasma TG, TC, HDL, LDL, glucose and insulin concentrations.

The study showed a significantly greater decrease in fat mass loss in the calcium + D group  than in the control group, and no significant difference in body weight change between the two groups. The calcium + D group also exhibited greater decrease in visceral fat mass and visceral fat area.  No significant difference was detected for changes in metabolic variables.

These results indicate that, among overweight and obese people with very-low intake levels of calcium, calcium plus vitamin D3 supplementation for 12 weeks may assist fat loss when combined with a energy restriction diet with 500 Cal/day of calorie deficit.

Source: Zhu et al. Nutrition Journal 2013, 12:8

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