Calcium Supplementation Linked with Decreased Trunk Fat Gain in Postmenopausal Women

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In an article published in Nutrition & Metabolism, researchers at Creighton University report that calcium supplementation is associated with a reduction in trunk fat gain and increased maintenance of trunk lean mass in postmenopausal women compared to those who received placebos.* Trunk fat includes the abdominal fat mass that becomes increasingly difficult to control as humans age.

Lan-Juan Zhao, PhD and colleagues analyzed data from 870 women who participated in a trial designed to evaluate the effects of calcium and vitamin D on fractures. The women received one of the following daily regimens: 1,400 milligrams calcium from calcium citrate or 1,500 milligrams calcium from calcium carbonate per day plus a placebo; calcium plus 1,100 IU vitamin D3; or two placebos for up to four years.

Although body mass index did not differ significantly between the groups at the end of the study, all groups that received calcium gained less trunk fat and maintained a greater amount of trunk lean mass compared to the placebo groups.

Editor’s note: The authors announce that “This is the first clinical trial in a population-based postmenopausal women cohort to observe that increasing calcium intake, in the form of non-dairy calcium supplementation, can prevent gain of fat mass and loss of lean mass.”

—D. Dye


* Available at: Accessed August 23, 2010.

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