Calcium & Obesity

The United States adult population is said to be twenty-five percent obese. Calcium has been debated as a method of helping to enhance weight loss, especially in recent “milk” advertisements suggesting that if you drink 24 oz of milk every 24 hours it can help you lose weight.*

Researchers from the University of Sao Paulo have researched this hypothesis. Higher levels of calcium intake were observed among women with normal weight who were non-smokers, practiced physical activity, and had higher educational levels. The study concluded that people with the lowest average intake were 24% more likely to be overweight!

Researchers suggested two potential reasons for this result. Calcium may have an effect on certain hormones that play a role in fat build-up and calcium may help to bind more fatty acids in the intestines, thereby inhibiting fat absorption. Researchers determined that dairy can help reduce body fat and that calcium accounts for about 40% of the effect.

*Bueno, B., Galvao, C.L., Martini, L.A., Fisberg, R.M. “Dietary calcium intake and overweight: An epidemiologic view.” Nutrition. Published online ahead of print 21 July 2008, doi:10.1016/j.nut.2008. 05.020.

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