~ 011307 Calcium and Vitamin D Supplementation Improve Weight Loss Effect on Lipids

Calcium and Vitamin D Supplementation Improve Weight Loss Effect on Lipids

A report published in the January, 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who supplemented their weight loss program with calcium and vitamin D had better lipids and lipoprotein profiles than those who did not take the supplements.

Researchers at Laval University in Quebec provided 63 overweight or obese women whose calcium intake was low with a placebo or a supplement containing 600 milligrams calcium and 200 international units vitamin D per tablet to be taken twice daily during a 15 week reduced calorie weight loss intervention. Physical examinations conducted at the beginning of the study ascertained the participants' height, weight, body mass index, and blood pressure. Blood samples were analyzed for cholesterol and triglycerides, and an oral glucose tolerance test which measured plasma glucose and insulin was administered.

A correlation was observed between calcium intake and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol at the beginning of the study. At the study's conclusion, there was a significant reduction in low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, total to HDL cholesterol ratio, and LDL to HDL ratio in the group who received the calcium and vitamin D supplements compared to the placebo group. A tendency for lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels was also observed in the supplemented group. Fasting plasma glucose and insulin had also decreased by the end of the study, but did not differ significantly between the groups.

The authors suggest that the decrease in lipid and lipoprotein concentrations could be due to a reduction in fatty acid absorption and increase in fecal fatty acid content, among other factors. "It is suggested that in the clinical context of obesity treatment, calcium supplementation could be recommended in women with inadequate calcium intake to improve the cardiovascular disease risk profile," the authors conclude.

Related Health Concern: Cholesterol Reduction

The following nutritional supplements offer synergistic benefits to assist dietary modification to reduce total serum cholesterol and elevate HDL cholesterol:
  • Policosanol, take one tablet twice per day with meals: one in the afternoon and one in the evening. Or Sytrinol, one capsule twice daily.
  • Fiber, 4 to 6 grams before any high-fat meal.
  • Chitosan, three to six 500-mg chitosan capsules and one 1000 mg ascorbic acid capsule right before a high-fat meal.
  • Niacin, 1500 to 3000 mg a day (if tolerable). Consider flush-free niacin (inositol hexanicotinate) to avoid a "red face."
  • Artichoke extract, 300 mg, 3 times a day.
  • Garlic, 600 to 48000 mg a day.
  • Curcumin, 900 to 1800 mg a day.
  • Gugulipid, 140 mg 1 to 2 times a day.
  • Green tea, 750 mg a day of green tea, 93% polyphenol extract.
  • Perilla oil, 6000 mg a day. We suggest taking six 1000-mg gel caps daily. If triglycerides are high, consider taking 4-8 softgels of fish oil (EPA/DHA).
  • Vitamin E, 400 to 800 IU daily
  • Soy protein extract, 2 heaping teaspoons (5 to 6 grams) of soy powder daily. Soy powder can be easily dispersed and has a light peanut butter taste. For those who want to avoid powders, consider taking one-five capsules of the Ultra Soy Extract (40% isoflavones) daily.
  • Selenium, 200 to 600 mcg daily.
Herbal Cardiovascular Formula, two-six capsules daily with food in divided doses.

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