How Much Does Calcium Contribute to Weight Loss?
We all know that calcium builds your bones and keeps your
teeth strong (about 99 percent of the calcium in your body
is in your bones and teeth), but this mineral plays a role
in much, much more, including:
Some experts say eating low-fat dairy products will
give you plenty of calcium and help you lose weight,
but do you know the other healthy food sources of calcium?
(Keep reading to find out.)
There's also much debate over the role of calcium in weight
loss. Some experts maintain that higher levels of calcium
may prevent fat storage in your body and raise your metabolism
(which burns more calories). Others, however, say there is
no link between calcium and your weight.
Calcium and Weight Loss: What Does the Research Say?
A seven-year study published in the Archives of Internal
Medicine found that calcium did, in fact, help women to avoid
weight gain, particularly if they weren't getting enough to
Women in this group were 11 percent less likely to gain weight,
and more likely to lose weight or remain weight-stable, than
women who took placebo pills, researchers said.
However, the weight benefit was only moderate at just over
one-quarter of a pound on average, and less than half a pound
for women with low calcium intake.
Another study from 2000 also found a beneficial effect for
calcium. In this study, mice fed a high-calcium diet had a
significant reduction in body fat. Low-fat dairy products
appeared to be the best source for calcium, as far as weight
loss was concerned. The study found that:
Mice getting their calcium via supplements had a 42 percent
decrease in body fat
Mice fed a "medium-dairy" diet had a 60 percent
decrease in body fat
Mice fed a "high-dairy" diet lost 69 percent
Other studies seem to show that calcium has no impact on
weight loss whatsoever. A study presented at the Obesity Society
meeting in Boston on October 22, 2006, for instance, found
that after two years, people who took calcium pills twice
a day did not weigh any less than people who took a placebo.
How Calcium May Impact Your Weight
Overall, it seems that calcium may not be a magic bullet
to help you shed weight overnight ... but getting enough
of this healthy mineral does appear to make managing your
If your body doesn't get enough calcium, your body releases
parathyroid hormone and calcitriol to release more calcium
from your bones and into your bloodstream -- and to increase
your body's ability to absorb calcium.
However, these two compounds also stimulate the production
"As a result, your body stores fat and holds on to it
stubbornly, even if you're on a low-calorie diet," says
Michael B. Zemel, Ph.D., head of the department of nutrition
at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
According to Zemel, low-fat or non-fat dairy products are
the best source of calcium for weight loss.
foods like milk and milk products are also one of the
highly allergenic foods out there. (If you have food allergies,
we highly recommend The
Food Allergy Survival Guide Book ... it can be a literal
Allergic to Milk? Get The Food Allergy
Survival Guide Book!
a complete guide on how to eat if you have food allergies
and intolerances, check out the highly recommended Food
Allergy Survival Guide Book. In it you'll learn:
- How to avoid the foods and ingredients that trigger
- How to substitute healthful ingredients for those
that trigger allergic responses
- How to meet recommended nutrient intakes while avoiding
trigger foods such as dairy products, eggs, gluten-containing
grains such as wheat, or other food culprits
- How to determine which food(s) may be triggers for
your symptoms ... and much more!
out More About The Food Allergy Survival Guide Book
How can you get enough calcium if you're allergic to milk?
Actually, it's easy, as contrary to popular belief, dairy
foods are not the only sources of calcium, nor are they the
Some of the best food sources of calcium are actually leafy
green vegetables, such as:
While the jury is still out as to whether calcium yields
significant weight loss benefits, there are still numerous
reasons to get plenty of it in your diet.
If you don't get enough of this mineral through your diet
or supplements, for example, it means that your blood levels
of calcium will be low.
To compensate, your body will take calcium from your bones
to keep your blood calcium levels where they need to be. Over
time, this can weaken your bones and lead to osteoporosis.
Plus, if you enjoy the leafy greens above as your primary
source of calcium, these superfoods will support your health
in other ways, and, if you use them to replace some junk foods
in your diet, will likely help you to lose weight, as well.
Better From Food, Says New Study: Here are the 26 Top Calcium
to Reduce PMS? Eat Some Cheese, Get Some Sun and Take These
of Internal Medicine Vol. 167 No. 9, May 14, 2007
News October 22, 2006
Health January/February 2002