Canadian researchers found taking calcium and vitamin D supplements while on a weight-loss program lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.
University of Laval researchers Genevieve Major, Francine Alarie, Jean Dor, Sakouna Phouttama and Angelo Tremblay enrolled 63 women with a body mass index over 30 on a 15-week low-calorie diet. At the start of the experiment the women’s daily calcium intake was 700 mg on average, well below the 1,000 mg recommendation.
This is nothing exceptional, said study leader Tremblay. More than 50 percent of women don’t get the daily recommended dose.In addition to the low-calorie diet, participants were given daily tablets containing either a placebo or 1,200 mg of calcium with vitamin D to facilitate calcium absorption, adds Tremblay.
At the end of the 15-week period, researchers observed greater drops in LDL — bad cholesterol — and increases in HDL — good cholesterol — in the calcium-plus-vitamin D group than in the placebo group, according to the study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The authors conclude that prescribing calcium and vitamin D supplements should be considered as a component of weight-loss programs aimed at people with insufficient calcium intake.