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January 17, 2012


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Vitamin D and calcium is a great source for bone health regardless of whether the outcomes were achieved. JW you make a very valuable point regarding the diabetes comment. Considering the population of obese subjects, it is not outrageous to think that some may have had Diabetes Mellitus type 2 which could ultimately affect the outcome of the study and instead of weight loss, the subjects could have gained weight. So an alternative approach maybe would be to consider providing this population with Calcium and Vitamin D tablet/capsule supplementation.

This is a very interesting and important study since it targets two issues, obesity (or increased fat mass) and bone health.
Interestingly, this study confirms the outcomes of a previous study [PMID: 19263591] that was done in Canada in 2009 on 63 obese women. The study was placebo controlled and 12-week in duration. This study found that calcium + vitamin D supplementation induced no statistically significant increase in fat mass loss, however, the very low-calcium consumers showed significant decrease in body weight and fat mass and in spontaneous dietary lipid intake.
In my opinion, the reason behind the reduction of fat mass in the group that was given Ca + Vit.D was attributed to the reduction of fat intake influenced by the combination, irrespective of the weight loss.
I think this also adds a beneficial cardiovascular effects due to fat intake reduction in diet.

Like others, I was also surprised that the study used orange juice as well. This came to me as a surprise, because I wonder in that population of people, how many of them were diabetic. I am by no means saying that diabetics can not drink orange juice, but a juice that is such high in sugar content, it is not the best drink to be drinking on a regular basis. I would also like to see more studies done on this, and to see it more in a supplementation type way. If this does work thats great. Calcium and vitamin D are so important for bone health, and any people do not supplement these nutritents as they grow older. This would be great to recommend to someone and say studies show it many decrease stomach fat. If it doesn't, oh well you tried, at least you are helping them have healthier stronger bones!

Another issue with calcium is its ability to encourage tissue and artery calcification. This hardening that takes place is a hallmark of aging and hints at calcium dysregulation as a natural part of the body's decline. Calcium, however, has all sorts of benefits, one of which has been elucidated in the study highlighted in this blog post. The eternal question for supplements: how much is too little and how much is too much? And if we have to make decisions without this knowledge, which should we prefer?

I remember reading a couple years ago that a calcium supplement was the cheapest diet pill you could buy. I have seen many articles that discussed calcium’s potential to decrease belly fat and I think the prospect of this is exciting for many people. I agree with the other comments and believe more studies should definitely be done to look into this claim. I especially agree with Shannon in that orange juice is known to be high in sugar and therefore not the best source of calcium. Additional studies on the effect of calcium supplements would be helpful as patients could take these without consuming the unnecessary sugar and calories that orange juice can contain.

You know, I've heard before that drinking milk can help you lose weight. I didn't quite understand the mechanism behind this, but I always just assumed that people who drank more milk at meals would be replacing high-sugar, high-calorie beverages that many experts say are contributing to the nationwide obesity epidemic. I hope more evidence can be found behind this connection because calcium and vitamin D are so important for many other things - not least of which is bone health! There is strong evidence linking calcium to improved bone density and reduced risk of osteoporosis, to name just a couple.

This blog post really catches your eye when you see the title because I feel that a lot of people want that quick fix to weight loss and a flat stomach. When reading the first part of the post I thought to myself that the study must have used foods that were healthy, but then as I kept reading I was a little surprised to see that the study used orange juice (regular or reduced-calorie). Like Amber said, orange juice contains so much sugar and I don’t think it was the appropriate source of calcium/vitamin D to give to obese patients. The study Daniel found is very interesting as well. I think both points made by Daniel and Amber just show the need for further studies before any sort of recommendation can be made. I am very curious to see how much calcium and vitamin D intake may help reduce abdominal fat. I wonder if it is a much larger intake than our recommended dietary allowance. If not, this makes me think that consumption of a well-balanced diet along with a healthy lifestyle and maintaining fitness would all work together to decrease stomach fat, as well as improve other conditions. This possible link between calcium/vitamin D and decreased stomach fat might be a source of encouragement for those who are overweight to consume a more balanced, healthy diet. I am intrigued to read more about this link as more research is conducted.

I found this study as well: http://www.fasebj.org/content/15/2/291.full

This is what the authors had to say, "The present study was conducted to test the hypothesis that suppressing 1,25-(OH)2-D by increasing dietary calcium...accelerates lipid catabolism and weight loss secondary to caloric restriction in...mice."

The authors found that increased calcium intake helped decrease fat in mice, as the blog study did in humans. But the blog study authors suggest that you should supplement calcium and vitamin D to achieve these effects, which is misleading. The increase in calcium actually suppresses levels of 1,25-(OH)2-D in the blood, which have been found to be high in obese patients, so supplementing vitamin D may be unwise. The wisest thing to do then is look at the ratio of calcium to vitamin D in this study which was 3.5(Ca2+)/1(Vit.D). This insight requires elucidation of how various ratios of calcium and vitamin D contribute to these effects.

I agree with this study and would like to see more studies done on calcium and vitamin D to reduce stomach fat. However, I would prefer a supplement to be used instead of a food. Furthermore, processed juices are often sugar laden and more improvement could be seen if the product used did not contain as much sugar. Sugar can also increase belly fat. Even though the fortified group lost more belly fat, they both lost weight which could be to the juice being filling and increasing satiety.

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