Calcium and Vitamin D Supplements Enhance Health Benefits of Weight Loss
Posted Jun 18 2008 12:00am
In a recent study, women with low calcium intake were given either a calcium + vitamin D supplement or placebo in conjunction with a 15-week weight-loss program. Those who received the calcium + vitamin D supplement had a greater tendency for beneficial changes in LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol levels.
Research has demonstrated that overweight individuals with low calcium and dairy intakes have an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Naturally, this suggests that adequate calcium intake could create a healthier metabolic profile ” one more similar to a balanced diet and regular exercise.
In a recent study, researchers explored this possibility by testing cardiovascular health indicators after long-term calcium supplementation in women with usual low calcium intake. Healthy overweight or obese women with a daily calcium intake of less than 800 mg per day were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups: group A received two tablets/day of a calcium + vitamin D supplement (600 mg elemental calcium and 200 IU vitamin D/tablet), while group B received a placebo. Both groups completed a 15-week reduced calorie weight-loss program.
Significant decreases in LDL cholesterol levels, as well as improvements in the ratios of total to LDL and LDL to HDL cholesterol were seen the calcium + vitamin D group. These changes were independent of changes due to fat loss and reduced waist circumference. Tendencies for more beneficial changes in HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol were also observed in the calcium + vitamin D group.
This study demonstrates that adequate consumption of calcium and vitamin D during weight loss enhances other beneficial effects of body weight loss on cardiovascular risk factors in overweight women with previously low calcium intake.