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Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jan;83(1):18-23.

Calcium supplementation for 1 y does not reduce body weight or fat mass in young girls.

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  • 1Department of Human Nutrition, Centre for Advanced Food Studies, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Frederiksberg, Denmark.



Accumulating evidence from observational studies indicates that a high calcium intake may reduce body weight and body fat. However, few randomized trials have been conducted.


We examined whether calcium supplementation affects body weight and body fat in young girls and whether a relation exists between habitual calcium intake and body weight and body fat.


A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention study was conducted in 110 young girls. The subjects were randomly assigned to receive 500 mg Ca/d as calcium carbonate or placebo for 1 y. Two groups of girls were selected according to habitual calcium intake from a large group; one group consumed 1000-1304 mg/d (40th-60th percentile; n = 60) and the other group consumed <713 mg/d (<20th percentile; n = 50). Height, body weight, body fat, and calcium intake were measured at baseline and after 1 y.


At baseline a significant negative correlation was observed between habitual dietary calcium intake and percentage of body fat (r = -0.242, P = 0.011). However, calcium supplementation had no effect on height, body weight, or percentage body fat.


Habitual dietary calcium intake was inversely associated with body fat, but a low-dose calcium supplement had no effect on body weight, height, or body fat over 1 y in young girls. It is possible that the effect of calcium on body weight is only exerted if it is ingested as part of a meal, or the effect may be due to other ingredients in dairy products, and calcium may simply be a marker for a high dairy intake.

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