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Br J Nutr. 2015 Dec 14;114(11):1756-65. doi: 10.1017/S0007114515003608. Epub 2015 Sep 24.

Could the beneficial effects of dietary calcium on obesity and diabetes control be mediated by changes in intestinal microbiota and integrity?

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1Instituto Federal do Sudeste de Minas Gerais - Campus Barbacena,Rua Monsenhor José Augusto, 204,Bairro São José,Barbacena,Minas Gerais CEP 36205-018,Brazil.
2Nutrition and Health Department,Federal University of Viçosa (Universidade Federal de Viçosa),Avenida PH Rolfs,s/n,Viçosa,Minas Gerais CEP 36570-000,Brazil.


Evidence from animal and human studies has associated gut microbiota, increased translocation of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and reduced intestinal integrity (II) with the inflammatory state that occurs in obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Consumption of Ca may favour body weight reduction and glycaemic control, but its influence on II and gut microbiota is not well understood. Considering the impact of metabolic diseases on public health and the role of Ca on the pathophysiology of these diseases, this review critically discusses possible mechanisms by which high-Ca diets could affect gut microbiota and II. Published studies from 1993 to 2015 about this topic were searched and selected from Medline/PubMed, Scielo and Lilacs databases. High-Ca diets seem to favour the growth of lactobacilli, maintain II (especially in the colon), reduce translocation of LPS and regulate tight-junction gene expression. We conclude that dietary Ca might interfere with gut microbiota and II modulations and it can partly explain the effect of Ca on obesity and T2DM control. However, further research is required to define the supplementation period, the dose and the type of Ca supplement (milk or salt) required for more effective results. As Ca interacts with other components of the diet, these interactions must also be considered in future studies. We believe that more complex mechanisms involving extraintestinal disorders (hormones, cytokines and other biomarkers) also need to be studied.


BA bile acid; Calcium; Endotoxin; FA fatty acid; FW faecal water; GLP glucagon-like peptide; Gut microbiota; II intestinal integrity; Intestinal permeability; LPS; Lipopolysaccharide; T2DM type 2 diabetes mellitus; lipopolysaccharide

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