More Calcium and Vitamin D May Aid Weight Management
Increasing intakes of calcium and higher blood levels of Vitamin D may boost weight loss, suggest findings from a two-year clinical trial.
Average calcium intakes of 580 milligrams per day and blood levels of vitamin D of 30.2 nanograms per milliliter were associated with 5.3 kg (11-12 lbs.) weight loss over the two years of intervention, according to findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Lower calcium intakes of just 156 milligrams and blood levels of vitamin D of 14.5 nanograms per milliliter were also associated with improvements in body weight (loss of 3.3 kilograms over two years).
“Our study suggests that both higher dairy calcium intake and increased serum vitamin D are related to greater diet-induced weight loss,” wrote the researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.
An ongoing area of debate is the role of dairy in weight management. A relationship between dairy intake and weight reduction has been recorded in numerous studies, and dairy industries in Europe and the US have been promoting milk-based products for consumers who want to slim for some time. The subject, however, remains controversial.
There are even splits amongst the researchers with some arguing that calcium and vitamin D are the active nutrients behind the effects. A prominent research team from the University of Tennessee, has previously reported that dairy can help reduce body fat and that calcium only accounts for about 40 per cent of the effect.
Data from the two-year Dietary Intervention Randomized Controlled Trial (DIRECT) now indicates that for every incremental increase in calcium from dairy sources was associated with an increase in “the likelihood of weight loss of greater than 4.5 kg”, while similar associations were observed for increasing vitamin D blood levels.
The Ben-Gurion University researchers analyzed data from 322 people with an average age of 52 and an average BMI of 31 kg/m2. One hundred and twenty-six of these people were followed to a further six months to track vitamin D levels.
Data Strengthens Calcium’s Role In Weight Management Only recently, we reported on a secondary analysis of data from a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial, which found that 1,400 or 1,500 milligrams of calcium per day, with or without vitamin D3, was associated with lower trunk fat gain and higher lean trunk mass (Nutrition & Metabolism, 2010, 7:62).
An earlier study from Canada indicated that the potential benefits of calcium supplements may be limited to women with low habitual intakes of the mineral (British Journal of Nutrition, 2009, Vol. 101, pp. 659-663).
Regarding the potential mechanism, the Canadian study proposed that calcium may affect appetite. Laval University researchers stated: “Our hypothesis is that the brain can detect the lack of calcium and seeks to compensate by spurring food intake, which obviously works against the goals of any weight loss program. Sufficient calcium intake seems to stifle the desire to eat more.”
Conversely, a meta-analysis published last year in Obesity Reviews (Vol. 10, pp. 475-486) indicated that calcium may aid weight management by increased fat excretion in the feces.
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Published online ahead) “Dairy calcium intake, serum vitamin D, and successful weight loss”
Dr. Dale Peterson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Medicine. He completed his residency in FamilyMedicine at the University of Oklahoma. He is a past president of the Oklahoma Academy of Family Physicians. He had a full-time family practice in Edmond, Oklahoma, for over 20 years and was a Chief of Staff of the Edmond Hospital. He was active in teachingfor many years as a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine through the Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center.
Dr. Peterson left his full-time family practice in 1999 to consult with individuals who are seeking ways to restore and maintain their health through improved nutrition and other lifestyle changes. He founded the Wellness Clubs of America to give people access to credible information on supporting and maintaining their health. His monthly wellness letter, Health by Design, and his Health by Design E-Newsletter provide helpful information to individuals interested in preventing and conquering health challenges. His book Building Health by Design: Adding Life to Your Years and Years to Your Life was released in December 2010.
Dr. Peterson speaks regularly on subjects related to health and nutrition. He hosted a weekly radio program,Your Health Matters, on KTOK in Oklahoma City for five years. For the past nine years he has addressed questions from across the nation on his Your Health Matters weekly teleconference.He offers a free video LifeXtension course at www.drdalepeterson.com.