Your mom knew what she was talking about when she told you to drink your milk for strong bones. And “Got Milk?” has become part of our lexicon. So most of us have gotten the message that calcium is important for healthy bones. But did you know calcium also can help you lose weight?
Researchers compiling the results of five studies were surprised to learn a higher intake of calcium was associated with a lower BMI and body weight. In fact, women weighed an average of 18 pounds less for every 1,000 mg of calcium they consumed!
According to the journal Nutrition Reviews, researchers looked at data from more than 90 studies and found high calcium intake may reduce body fat mass while maintaining lean body mass, reducing weight gain and increasing weight loss on calorie-restricted diets.
Most people are calcium deficient. Adults should get 1,000 mg of calcium daily (and those over age 50 should have even more: 1,200 mg). But only 44 percent of men and 21 percent of women over age 19 meet these daily calcium intake recommendations in the United States.
Supplement Now and Start Losing
The silver lining in these figures is that people who are calcium deficient may experience the most weight loss benefit when they bump up their calcium intake. According to a recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, when obese women doubled their calcium intake to 1,200 mg and followed a low-calorie diet, they lost nearly 6 kg (about 13 pounds) over 15 weeks compared to just 1 kg (about 2 pounds) in obese women in the same study who took a placebo and followed a low-calorie diet.
Other studies show higher levels of calcium may prevent fat storage and raise metabolism. So bone up on your calcium intake and enjoy stronger bones and a slimmer, healthier you!