Researchers at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center report that calcium may help control body weight, confirming findings from other studies. The report is the first study in humans to demonstrate a link between calcium intake and body weight.
Edward Melanson, PhD, and James Hill, PhD, examined diet data from 35 healthy, non-obese adults over a 24-hour period and measured their daily energy expenditures. They found those individuals who consumed more calcium used more fat as fuel compared to those with lower calcium intakes. Studies in rats and mice suggest that higher calcium intake alters the metabolism of fat cells, causing less fat to be stored and more fat to be released.
“It is encouraging to find that there is a correlation between the amount of fat used and the amount of calcium consumed,” Melanson said. “The current RDA is 1,000 mg a day, and this RDA is a little higher for adolescents, young adults, and pregnant or lactating women,” Melanson said.
According to Melanson, the average North American typically consumes only 600-700 mg of calcium per day, and many are well below that level.
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Feb 27, 2003