More Calcium, Less Weight
Calcium may be the latest arsenal in the war against excess weight and fat.
Researchers at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville believe they have discovered a potential link between calcium and fat metabolism.
In a study funded by the National Dairy Council, obese mice placed on high-calcium, low-calorie diets ''lost roughly a fifth of their body weight and 42 percent of their body fat'' in just six weeks. The mice that followed a low-calcium, low-calorie diet lost just 11 percent of their total body weight and a meager 8 percent of total body fat.
''For any given level of energy balance — of calorie intake and physical activity — dietary calcium helps determine whether calories go to storage in the form of fat, or get burned,'' says lead researcher Dr. Michael Zemel, who reported on his team's findings at the Experimental Biology 2000 conference in April.
He also notes that mice that consumed calcium from low-fat dairy sources rather than supplements lost even more — 25 percent of their body weight and 60 percent of their body fat.
In addition to dairy products, calcium can be consumed from soy products and calcium-fortified foods such as orange juice and cereals. While calcium may not be the magic bullet so many keep looking for, Zemel believes it can ''markedly inhibit the machinery for making fat and really rev up the machinery for breaking down fat.''
This appeared in ACE FitnessMatters, ACE's official magazine.
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