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Calcium Supplementation May Reduce Weight Gain

Researchers find lower 10-year weight gain in middle-aged women who took supplements

MONDAY, July 3 (HealthDay News) -- Increased calcium intake through supplementation may help middle-aged women maintain a healthy weight, according to a study published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Alejandro J. Gonzalez, Ph.D., of the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues studied 10,591 men and women aged 53 to 57 and used retrospective data to assess their weight change and calcium intake over an eight- to 12-year period.

The researchers found that calcium intake was associated with a 10-year weight change only in women. They found that women who took at least 500 milligrams per day of a calcium supplement gained an average of 5.1 kilograms compared to a gain of 6.9 kg in women who took no calcium supplements. They determined that dietary calcium alone had no effect on the 10-year weight change.

"Although more evidence from randomized clinical trials is needed before calcium supplements can be recommended specifically for weight loss, this study suggests that calcium supplements taken for other reasons, (e.g., prevention of osteoporosis) may have a small beneficial influence on reducing weight gain, particularly among women approaching midlife," the authors conclude.

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