Calcium and Vitamin D Linked to Weight Loss?
“Drink milk to build strong bones (and lose weight…?)!” While calcium and vitamin D are well-known for their notorious roles in bone health and chronic disease prevention, growing evidence proposes adequate intake of the two may even result to weight loss!
Does Calcium and Vitamin D Promote Weight Loss?
Sufficient evidence suggests high-calcium diets are associated with lower rates of overweight and obesity, while diets deficient in calcium are associated with higher body weights. There is also indication that calcium influences weight loss in women who are deficient in the mineral, who then supplement with it to meet appropriate recommendations.
And particularly in post-menopausal women, vitamin D paired with calcium supplementation has shown to slow the rate of weight gain. Additionally, Obesity concluded increasing dietary calcium significantly augmented weight and fat loss secondary to caloric restriction. The increase of calcium likewise increased the percentage of fat lost from the trunk region, whereas dairy products created a substantially greater effect.
Furthermore, a recent meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Nutrition assessed the influence of calcium on body weight and body composition via supplementation and dairy food consumption. Calcium intake was approximately 900 milligrams higher in the supplement groups compared to the control, whilst calcium intake was approximately 1300 milligrams per day in the dairy group. Although calcium supplementation or increased dairy food intake did not significantly affect body weight or body fat compared to the control group, sub-analyses revealed dairy supplementation resulted in a greater reduction in body fat in the presence of energy restriction over an average of four months. Nonetheless, the researchers indicated approximately three servings of dairy may facilitate fat loss on weight reduction diets in the short term.
But now you might be questioning, "Should I be going for low-fat or full-fat dairy?" Though once recommended to opt for skim milk, there is a great debate that may actually be pushing for higher fat dairy products. Yes, low-fat milk and dairy products come with a lower calorie count while still supplying protein, but choosing whole and full-fat may offer weight control and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Nutrition experts speculate and contribute the benefits to the higher fat content of whole milk, particularly by inducing satiety and lessening the risk of eating again shortly after.
The Calcium and Vitamin D(efense) for Weight Loss
Researchers suggest calcium provides a small thermogenic effect, which raises the body’s core temperature and may speed up metabolism and fat burn. The intake of vitamin D enhances the absorption of calcium, which may also aid an appetite control mechanism and help keep hunger and cravings in check. Health experts additionally tout one possible reason how people who consume calcium-rich foods appear to manage their weight more effectively relates to filling the diet with more nutritious foods, rather than products that are calorically-dense and low in nutrients.
Whereas more research is warranted regarding the relationship between calcium, vitamin D, and weight loss, it is well-established the micronutrients are critical for supporting bone and heart health, along with providing numerous other advantageous roles. And while there are no recommendations for calcium and vitamin D for weight loss, the recommended daily value (DV) of vitamin D for the average, healthy adult is 600 International Units (IU) or 15 micrograms (mcg) per day and recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for calcium is 1,000 milligrams (mg), though needs increase with age and between gender to mitigate osteoporosis risk. Nonetheless, dairy products are known for their significant calcium intake including milk, cheese, and yogurt. Orange juice fortified with calcium, whole grain cereals, sardines with bones, almonds and unsweetened almond milks, soybeans, collard greens, and spinach are non-dairy calcium products that are exceptionally important for individuals with lactose intolerance or a milk allergy. Vitamin D food sources include beef, egg yolks, cheese, salmon, mackerel, tuna, mushrooms, and cod liver oil along with vitamin D fortified products such as milk, yogurt, and orange juice. But beyond food, sunlight is also a natural source of vitamin D!