Dieters taking daily doses of 600 mg elemental calcium and 125 IU vitamin D3 lost significantly more body fat over 12 weeks than people on the energy-restricted diet alone, but there were no differences between the groups for overall body weight, report researchers from the Shanghai Institute of Health Sciences in China.
“The calcium+D group achieved 55.6% augmentation of fat mass loss compared with the control, despite the fact that there was no significant difference in body weight change between groups,” wrote the researchers in the Nutrition Journal .
“That means the calcium+D group lost more adipose tissue during energy restriction.”
Over 300m adults are obese worldwide, according to latest statistics from the WHO and the International Obesity Task Force. About one-quarter of the US adult population is said to be obese, with rates in Western Europe on the rise, although not yet at similar levels.
The Chinese researchers recruited 52 overweight and obese adults with very-low calcium consumption to participate in their open-label, randomized controlled trial. All participants followed an energy-restricted diet (-500 kcal/d) with half given calcium and vitamin D supplements.
After 12 weeks, the researchers noted that, of the 42 people who completed the study, those receiving the supplements displayed a “significantly greater decrease in fat mass loss”, compared with the control group (-2.8 versus -1.8 kg, respectively).
“The calcium + D group also exhibited greater decrease in visceral fat mass and visceral fat area,” they added.
“To our knowledge, ours is among the few relevant studies to evaluate the effect of combined calcium and vitamin D3 administration in very-low calcium consumers by setting initial calcium intake at <600 mg/day as one of the inclusion criteria.”
Source: Nutrition Journal
2013, 12:8 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-8
“Calcium plus vitamin D3 supplementation facilitated Fat loss in overweight and obese college students with very-low calcium consumption: a randomized controlled trial”
Authors: Zhu W, Cai D, Wang Y, Lin N, Hu Q, Qi Y, Ma S and Amarasekara S