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Weight-Loss Tip: Add Extra Calcium to a Low-Fat Diet
Publish Date : 1/10/2006 6:11:19 AM   Source : Michael Lewis

You may reprint or publish this article free of charge as
long as the bylines are included.

Original URL
------------
www.ageforce.com/weight_loss_tip.html

Title
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Weight-Loss Tip: Add Extra Calcium to a Low-Fat Diet
-------------------------------
Got milk? New research suggests you should if you want to
lose weight. The weight loss study shows that calcium,
three or four daily servings of low-fat dairy products,
can help adjust your body's fat-burning machinery.

Low-fat dairy may help reduce body fat
--------------------------
The key is low-fat dairy sources, says lead author Hang Shi,
a postdoctoral student in the Nutrition Institute at the
University of Tennessee at Knoxville. "High-fat dietary
calcium can establish obesity, but it's surprising that
low-fat calcium may help reduce body fat," said Shi. "The
effect is very significant, much more than we imagined it
would be."

His paper on the effects of a high-calcium diet in
increasing body fat loss was presented at the
Experimental Biology 2000 meeting in San Diego.

"The magnitude of the findings was shocking," says Michael
Zemel, PhD, director of the Nutrition Institute, who is
Shi's co-author and doctoral supervisor.

The more calcium there is in a fat cell, the more fat it
will burn
------------------------------
In their past studies, Zemel and colleagues have shown that
calcium stored in fat cells plays a crucial role in
regulating how fat is stored and broken down by the body.
It is thought that the more calcium there is in a fat cell,
the more fat it will burn.

The researchers used mice bred to be obese in their current
study. The mice were fed a special high-fat, high-sugar
diet for six weeks. All had a 27% increase in body fat.

Some were then switched to a calorie-restricted diet. Of
those, one group was given calcium supplements (calcium
carbonate similar to Tums) and others were fed "medium"
and "high" amounts of low-fat dry milk.

Body fat storage was markedly reduced by all three
high-calcium diets, say the authors.

Mice getting their calcium via supplements had a 42%
decrease in body fat
----------------------
However, calcium from dairy products produced the best
results. Mice on the "medium-dairy" diet had a 60%
decrease in body fat, while those on the "high-dairy"
diet lost 69% body fat. Researchers also found very small
increases in thermogenesis, the body's core temperature,
which then enhances the effects of calcium gained through
diet rather than calcium in supplement form, says Zemel.

"Calcium is no magic bullet. What the study says is that ...
higher-calcium diets favor burning rather than storing
fat. Calcium changes the efficiency of weight loss,"
Zemel tells WebMD.

The human body's metabolism makes weight loss difficult, he
explains. "Many people who stick to a calorie-reduced diet
don't lose weight as fast as they

think they should. That's because they activate metabolic
protection ... Their bodies sense starvation and hang on
to energy, fat, more voraciously."

Mice on the "high-dairy" diet lost 69% body fat
-----------------
However, calcium from dairy products produced the best
results. Mice on the "medim-dairy" diet had a 60%
decrease in body fat, while those on the "high-dairy"
diet lost 69% body fat. Researchers also found very small
increases in thermogenesis, the body's core temperature,
which then enhances the effects of calcium gained through
diet rather than calcium in supplement form, says Zemel.

"Calcium is no magic bullet. What the study says is that ...
higher-calcium diets favor burning rather than storing fat.
Calcium changes the efficiency of weight loss," Zemel tells
WebMD.

The human body's metabolism makes weight loss difficult, he
explains. "Many people who stick to a calorie-reduced diet
don't lose weight as fast as they think they should. That's
because they activate metabolic protection ... Their bodies
sense starvation and hang on to energy, fat, more
voraciously."

Substitute high-fat dairy products with low-fat dairy
--------------------------------------------
Too many dieters tend to immediately "jettison dairy foods
from their diet, because they're just sure they're going
to make them fat. In fact, they are shooting themselves
in the foot, because they subject themselves to more
empty-calorie sources. They would be better off if they
would substitute high-fat dairy products with low-fat
dairy," says Zemel.

Keeping in mind that the mouse study is preliminary, it is
very well done and shows promise, Pamela Meyers, PhD, a
clinical nutritionist and assistant professor at Kennesaw
State University near Atlanta. "But the calcium amounts
the study suggests are effectively equal to what the USDA
already recommends as a minimum for adults," she adds.

While nonfat dry milk was used in this study, few people buy
that product, says Meyers. "Also, there are people who are
lactose intolerant who can't consume dairy products. That
is why we need to look at other food sources of calcium,
[such as] ... dark leafy vegetables, salmon, mackerel,
almonds, and oats. ... They also are very high in fiber,
which helps in terms of weight management."

If using calcium supplements, it's important to choose those
with dded vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium, which help the
body to better absorb calcium, says Meyers.

This study was supported in part by the National Dairy
Council.

About the Author

About The Author
----------------
Michael Lewis has been collecting articles and information
on Weight Loss and HGH (Human Growth Hormone and related
health benefits. He has created and edits numerous web sites
about this subject. Michael is a staff writer for www.ageforce.com

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