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Calcium Supplements Ineffective in Weight Control

Study finds no improvement to weight, BMI or fat mass for overweight subjects taking calcium

WEDNESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Diet supplementation with calcium has no effect on total weight, body mass index (BMI), or body fat mass in overweight and obese people, according to a study from the National Institutes of Health reported in the June 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Jack A. Yanovski, M.D., of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues recruited 340 overweight (BMI, 25 to <30 kg/m2) and obese (BMI, ≥30 kg/m2) adult subjects and randomized them to take calcium supplements or placebo with meals for two years. The primary study outcomes were changes in body weight, BMI, and fat mass. All study subjects, providers and investigators were blinded as to study group membership.

After two years, the investigators discerned no significant differences between the group receiving calcium supplementation or placebo in body weight (0.02 kg difference), BMI (0.32 kg/m2 difference) or body fat mass (0.39 kg difference).

"Dietary supplementation with elemental calcium, 1500 mg/d, for two years had no statistically or clinically significant effects on weight in overweight and obese adults. Calcium supplementation is unlikely to have clinically significant efficacy as a preventive measure against weight gain in such patients," the authors conclude.

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