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Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Mar;85(3):678-87.

Effect of dairy calcium or supplementary calcium intake on postprandial fat metabolism, appetite, and subsequent energy intake.

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  • 1Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark.



High calcium intake has been shown to increase fecal fat excretion.


Our aim was to examine whether a high calcium intake from dairy products or from supplements affects postprandial fat metabolism and appetite through fat malabsorption.


Four different isocaloric meals were tested in 18 subjects according to a randomized crossover design. The test meals contained high (HC meal: 172 mg/MJ), medium (MC meal: 84 mg/MJ), or low (LC meal: 15 mg/MJ) amounts of calcium from dairy products or a high amount of calcium given as a calcium carbonate supplement (Suppl meal: 183 mg/MJ). Concentrations of plasma total triacylglycerol, chylomicron triacylglycerol, serum total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, cholecystokinin, glucagon-like peptide 1, ghrelin, peptide YY, glucose, and insulin and appetite sensation were measured before and at regular intervals until 420 min postprandially.


Dairy calcium significantly diminished the postprandial lipid response. The baseline adjusted area under the curve for chylomicron triacylglycerol was approximately 17% lower after the MC meal (P = 0.02) and approximately 19% lower after the HC meal (P = 0.007) than after the LC meal and approximately 15% lower after the MC meal (P = 0.0495) and approximately 17% lower after the HC meal (P = 0.02) than after the Suppl meal. No consistent effects of calcium on appetite sensation, or on energy intake at the subsequent meal, or on the postprandial responses of cholecystokinin, glucagon-like peptide 1, ghrelin, peptide YY, insulin, or glucose were observed.


Increased calcium intakes from dairy products attenuate postprandial lipidemia, most probably because of reduced fat absorption, whereas supplementary calcium carbonate does not exert such an effect. This may be due to differences in the chemical form of calcium or to cofactors in dairy products. Calcium did not affect appetite sensation, glucose metabolism, or gut hormone secretion.

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