Fat loss, calcium, and vitamin D are closely related. While many are aware that a lack of calcium in children can lead to rickets or osteoporosis in adults, many are surprised to learn that low calcium levels can prevent weight and fat loss. Those who are dieting but low on calcium may find themselves stuck on a plateau or simply unable to lose weight. While dairy products have been widely touted for a healthy weight and fat loss program, the benefits aren’t limited to dairy, but adequate calcium intake. Vegans and those who can’t easily digest dairy can increase their calcium sources along with vitamin D to ensure they are getting added weight and fat loss benefits to their nutrition plan that features a sensible amount of calorie intake per day.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) released findings on two trials conducted by the University of Kansas and the University of Tennessee comparing the effects of calcium on fat loss. The study showed that fat cells store calcium, and those levels play a direct role on how fat is utilized. Essentially, if a fat cell has high levels of calcium, it will burn more fat. It should be noted that weight and fat loss occurred in conjunction with lower caloric intake. It isn’t enough to overeat and simply add more dairy or take calcium supplements in order to achieve fat loss. There must be a caloric deficiency in order to lose weight and fat.
As calcium and vitamin D work together, it’s interesting to note that vitamin D is also an important component in fat loss. Shalamar Sibley, MD, from the University of Minnesota’s Department of Medicine conducted a study determining vitamin D’s role in fat loss and obesity. According to the study, high levels of vitamin D were an early predictor of dieting success. The study was so startling that some have referred to vitamin D as the dieting vitamin. Calcium requires vitamin D for absorption and the two work together to help increase fat loss and maintain a healthy weight. There’s no question that those who want to maximize fat loss should not only cut back on calories but ensure they are getting enough calcium and vitamin D.
Shape magazine shared their insight on the news that vitamin D helps treat obesity and promotes fat loss.
“A 12-week weight-loss study published in Nutrition Journal found that increasing vitamin D levels resulted in decreases in fat mass.
A 2012 study that looked at the impact of supplementing with both calcium and vitamin D found that this supplementation combination did not increase total weight loss but did lead to an increase in abdominal fat loss.
A 2010 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that supplementing with vitamin D did not enhance weight loss, but it did improve other markers of health such as decreased triglyceride levels (a risk factor for heart disease) and TNF-alpha, a cellular marker of inflammation.”
One of the reasons many people aren’t getting adequate amounts of calcium on a daily basis is that calcium needs change as we age. For successful fat loss, maximum levels of calcium need to be maintained within fat cells. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements provides a calcium level chart to help people find out how much they need per day. Adult women need to ensure they are maintaining the required amounts of calcium to prevent weak, brittle bones in their senior years and to prevent osteoporosis. The National Osteoporosis Foundation also provides a resource guide that explains how much vitamin D and calcium is required on a daily basis.
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