Can Calcium Pills Help People Lose Weight?. Ann Intern Med. 2009;150:I-24. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-150-12-200906160-00001
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2009;150(12):I-24.
Researchers have found that persons who eat less dairy foods weigh more. The finding suggests that calcium may be related to weight. Small research studies hint that calcium supplements might promote weight loss for persons already on a weight-loss diet. It would be important to know if taking calcium pills promotes weight loss because they are widely available, inexpensive, and safe, and persons might use them to lose weight and prevent illness that comes from weighing too much.
To see if calcium supplements prevent weight gain or promote weight loss.
340 otherwise-healthy overweight and obese persons.
The researchers weighed each participant. They then randomly assigned half of the participants to take calcium pills with meals and the other half to take placebo pills. The researchers collected information about participants' weight and diet over the next 2 years and compared weight change in the 2 groups.
Both groups gained weight and did not differ in weight change.
The study used calcium pills, and findings might be different if high-calcium food was used instead. Most participants were women, so the findings might not fully reflect effects in men.
Calcium supplements do not promote weight loss or prevent weight gain in persons who are overweight or obese.
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