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22-12-2011 | Cardiometabolic | Article

Abdominal fat reduced by calcium, vitamin D supplementation


Free abstract

MedWire News: Supplementation with calcium and vitamin D (CaD) decreases abdominal fat mass in individuals who are overweight and obese, US researchers report.

CaD supplementation for 16 weeks resulted in a three-fold reduction in visceral adipose tissue (VAT) compared with no supplementation, they say.

Lee Kaplan (Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston) and colleagues investigated the effect of CaD-supplemented orange juice on weight loss and reduction of VAT in 171 healthy overweight (body mass index [BMI] 25.0-29.9 kg/m2) and obese (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) men and women between the ages of 18 and 65 years.

The team conducted two parallel, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials; one with regular CaD-supplemented orange juice and one with reduced-energy (lite) CaD-supplemented orange juice.

In each 16-week trial, participants were randomly assigned to receive the treatment or control group. The treatment groups were instructed to consume three 240 mL glasses of orange juice (regular or lite) fortified with 350 mg calcium and 100 IU vitamin D every day. The control groups consumed either unfortified regular or lite orange juice.

The regular and lite trials differed only in the energy content of the two beverages, note the authors; both included the same amount of CaD.

The reduction of VAT observed in the regular orange juice trial was significantly greater in the CaD group than in the control group, at 12.7 versus 1.3 cm2.

Similar results were observed in the lite orange juice trial, with VAT reductions of 13.1 and 6.4 cm2 in the CaD and control group, respectively, as well as when the results of the two trials were combined.

Of note, the average weight loss did not differ significantly between the treatment or control groups. This suggests that, despite the differences in caloric content of the regular and lite orange juice drinks, the minor calorie difference (50 kcal/240 mL) did not influence the study outcome, say Kaplan et al.

"A large portion of the population is deficient in vitamin D, and dietary calcium intake often does not meet current recommendations," they write in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

These data therefore "underscore the possible role of these two nutrients in fat metabolism and support a potential role of calcium and vitamin D in the preferential and beneficial reduction of VAT, which has been linked to several metabolic disorders."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Nikki Withers