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Lack of this Mineral May Sabotage Your Weight Loss Efforts

According to a study published in the March 2009 edition of the British Journal of Nutrition calcium supplementation may help obese people lose weight.

Researchers from University Laval in Quebec, Canada recruited 63 overweight women with an average age of 43. All of the women had an average daily calcium intake less than 800mg.

The women took part in a 15 week weight loss program combined with either calcium and vitamin D supplementation (1,200 mg calcium and 10 micrograms vitamin D) or a placebo.

Initially the researchers didn’t find that the supplement group lost any more weight than the placebo group. However, when they analyzed only women with low calcium levels at the beginning of the study (less than 600 mg daily) they found that those in the supplementation group lost an average of 13 pounds while those in the placebo group only lost an average of 2 pounds.

The researchers note that these findings provide compelling evidence that sufficient calcium intake is likely a key factor in the success of any weight loss program.

The results also appear to support an earlier trial published in the August 2008 issue of the journal Nutrition. That study found that participants who consumed the lowest amount of calcium per day (under 265 mg per day) were 24 percent more likely to be obese than those who consumed the highest amounts (594mg per day).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Obesity Task Force, nearly a quarter of U.S. citizens and almost 300 million people worldwide suffer from obesity today.

Given that some estimates indicate only 20 percent of Americans consume the recommended 1,000mg of calcium daily, it appears calcium deficiency may be a contributing factor to this epidemic.

Consuming more low fat and non-fat dairy products, like yogurt and skim milk, are easy ways to boost your daily dose of calcium because they are relatively inexpensive and easily absorbable.
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