Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Calcium and vitamin D enhance heart health benefits of weight loss

Weight loss and reduced waist circumference are related to an improvement in heart health and factors related to metabolic syndrome. According to a new study, supplementing with calcium and vitamin D during weight loss enhances heart health benefits in women with typically low calcium intake.

Recent research has shown that overweight individuals with low calcium and dairy consumption are at increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome. The findings suggest that adequate calcium intake could create a healthier metabolic profile similar to a balanced diet and regular exercise. In a new study, researchers investigated this issue by testing cardiovascular benefits of long-term calcium supplementation in women with usual low calcium intake. Healthy, overweight or obese women with a daily calcium intake of less than 800 mg/day were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups: the group consuming 2 tablets/day of a calcium + vitamin D supplement (600 mg elemental calcium and 200 IU vitamin D/tablet) or the group consuming placebo. Both groups completed a 15-week reduced calorie weight-loss program. Significant decreases in LDL cholesterol levels, as well as the ratios of Total to LDL and LDL to HDL were seen the calcium +D group. These changes were independent of the changes due to fat loss and reduced waist circumference. A tendency for more beneficial changes in HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol was also observed in the calcium +D group.This was the first study to show that consumption of calcium +D during weight- loss enhances the beneficial effect of body weight loss on cardiovascular risk factors in overweight women with typically low calcium intake.

Source: Supplementation with calcium + vitamin D enhances the beneficial effect of weight loss on plasma lipid and lipoprotein concentrations, Geneviève C Major, Francine Alarie, Jean Doré, Sakouna Phouttama and Angelo Tremblay, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 85, No. 1, 54-59, January 2007