Effects of Calcium on Weight Maintenance among Middle-Aged Adults
Increased total calcium intake in the form of supplements can help middle-aged adults maintain their weight over a number of years, with particular benefits to women, according to researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
The study looked at relationships between calcium and weight change over an eight-to-12-year period among more than 10,000 men and women in their mid-50s. Previous studies have found connections between calcium intake and people's body mass index, but those studies focused on calcium in food, not supplements, according to the researchers.
The study examined people's intakes of dietary calcium, supplemental calcium and total calcium (supplements plus diet) to discover which forms of calcium were associated with weight change. The researchers found "dietary calcium alone had no significant effect on 10-year weight change," but that women who took calcium supplements saw some improvement.
"Although more evidence from randomized clinical trials is needed before calcium supplements can be recommended specifically for weight loss, this study suggests that calcium supplements taken for other reasons (e.g., prevention of osteoporosis) may have a small beneficial influence on reducing weight gain, particularly among women approaching midlife."
Education Level May Determine Sources of Nutrition Information for Older Adults
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Contact: Julia Dombrowski
American Dietetic Association