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Can Calcium and Vitamin D Help Weight Loss?

Most of us are aware that calcium is essential for healthy bones and teeth. You might also be aware that Vitamin D is essential for promoting calcium absorption, making the two together a perfect pairing.

However, you may be interested to learn that this pair may also help you lose weight, or at least prevent you gaining weight over the long term!

Want to know more?

The science linking calcium to weight loss is not conclusive, with some showing calcium may help with weight management and others not. However, there have been a number of population-based studies finding correlations between calcium intake and bodyweight and calcium intake and risk of weight gain. 

Clinical studies are more mixed, partly due to using calcium in the form of supplements rather than that obtained from dairy consumption.

With regard to weight management it does seem that your source of calcium is important. One study in particular found that weight loss in obese adults consuming calcium intake of 1,200- 1,300mg/day through their diet alone was 44 per cent higher than in a separate group who consumed the same amount of calcium through diet and supplementation combined.

The British Journal of Nutrition supports the link between calcium consumption and weight loss too, but only in people who are calcium deficient (intake less than 600mg/day). The belief here is that the brain can detect the lack of calcium and acts to compensate by increasing hunger to bring on food consumption. This is not what you want when trying to lose weight! If your calcium intake is adequate then your desire to eat should be reduced.

So, get snacking on dairy rich yogurts and top your crackers with cottage cheese to avoid a calcium deficiency, but don’t forget about vitamin D. Calcium and vitamin D may work together to regulate fat metabolism in fat cells by suppressing fat synthesis and inducing fat oxidation or burning!

So what’s the best way to get vitamin D?

Well, it’s actually made in our skin when it is exposed to sunlight. Depending on where you live, you may benefit from this to a greater or lesser degree.

For some of us, especially in the UK, there may be certain months of the year when exposure to sunlight is low. Furthermore, even when we do see some brightness, the use of sunscreen (essential for UV protection) may limit the sunlight our skin absorbs. So, you may want to consider vitamin D supplementation.

That’s calcium and vitamin D explained. Now, sit back and assess your current intake. 

The majority of women are not getting enough calcium, especially those pre-menopausal, and vitamin D intake tends to be low worldwide. Vegetarians in particular are unlikely to be getting enough vitamin D and vegans will find their diet also low in calcium without supplementation.

Check out the table below to see if you are meeting your required amount of calcium and vitamin D, after all, your waistline could depend on it.

Age

Calcium DRI

Vitamin D DRI

14-18

1,300mg

200 IU

19-50

1,000mg

200 IU

51-70

1,200mg

400 IU

71 +

1,200mg

6200 IU

DRI = Daily Reference Intake

(Adapted from the Institute of Medicine)

Let justSlim provide you with a diet high in vitamin D and calcium.

Your dietary vitamin D will come mainly from fish, cheese and fortified cereals (the high fibre ones) and calcium is delivered to you through dairy (yogurts, cottage cheese, smoothies), leafy green vegetables and fortified orange juice. Check out the justSlim sample recipes.

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