|Sarah McGowan-Freije, NatureCity author & contributor|
If you’re looking to lose some visceral belly fat, then you’ll be interested to know that supplements of vitamin D and calcium may help you do just that. This conclusion is the result of a joint study funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness of The Coca-Cola Company and the Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center.
The findings were published online ahead of print on December 14, 2011, and will appear in the January 2012 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Visceral fat is the layer of fat located deep inside your belly. It’s the fat that surrounds your organs and is also known as intra-abdominal fat. Reducing your visceral fat can have significant health benefits. Large amounts of visceral fat have been linked to cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and inflammatory disease.
Study participants included 171 overweight and obese adults with an average age of 40. Over the course of 16 weeks, the researchers conducted two parallel, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. One trial used three daily 8 ounces servings of an orange juice fortified with 1,050 mg of calcium and 100 IU of vitamin D. The second trial tested the same amounts of calcium and vitamin D in three daily 8oz servings of a lower calorie version of the orange juice. Both versions were tested against a placebo.
At the end of the trial, the fortified juice group showed a 12.7 cm2 reduction in visceral fat, while the placebo group showed a reduction of only 1.3 cm2. The fortified low-cal juice group showed slightly greater reductions, with 13.1 cm2 less visceral fat when compared with 6.4 cm2 in the placebo.