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January 2012

Calcium and Vitamin D Linked to Reduced Stomach Fat

Supplementation with calcium and vitamin D may reduce stomach fat, according to a new study.

Vitamin D is found in many dietary sources, such as fish, eggs, fortified milk and cod liver oil. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body and has several important functions. Diets with higher calcium density (high levels of calcium per total calories) have been associated with a reduced incidence of being overweight or obese in several studies. While more research is needed to understand the relationships between calcium intake and body fat, these findings emphasize the importance of maintaining an adequate calcium intake while attempting to diet or lose weight.

In a new study, researchers randomly assigned 171 obese patients to receive regular or reduced-calorie orange juice. The orange juice was either unfortified or fortified with 350 milligrams of calcium and 100 international units of vitamin D per serving. Each treatment group received three 240 milliliter servings of their assigned orange juice daily for 16 weeks. Stomach fat tissue was measured before and after treatment.

The researchers found that the average weight-loss of 2.45 kilograms was similar between groups. However, the authors noted that regardless of the calorie content, the individuals receiving the fortified orange juice had significantly greater reductions in stomach fat tissue than those receiving unfortified juice.

The researchers concluded that supplementation with calcium and vitamin D may reduce stomach fat. Additional research is necessary to further evaluate these findings.

For more information about calcium or vitamin D, please visit Natural Standard's Foods, Herbs & Supplements Database.

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  1. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.
  2. Rosenblum JL, Castro VM, Moore CE, et al. Calcium and vitamin D supplementation is associated with decreased abdominal visceral adipose tissue in overweight and obese adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan;95(1):101-8. View Abstract
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