If you’re trying to lose weight, the area you want to reduce more than anything is probably around your belly. This is often the hardest weight to lose. And it’s usually the first place we gain weight. Trying to drop this excess fat can be very frustrating. But a new study says two nutrients can help you lose belly fat faster.
In this study, researchers wanted to find out if taking calcium and vitamin D together can help you lose belly fat. So they conducted two parallel, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials to find out.
They assigned 171 obese participants to two separate groups. They gave each group three glasses (240 mL) of orange juice each day. One group took regular non-fortified orange juice. The other group took orange juice fortified with 350 mg of calcium and 100 IU of vitamin D per serving (1,050 mg of calcium and 300 IU of vitamin D daily).
Prior to the study, they measured all of the participants belly fat using computed tomography scans. Then, after 16 weeks, they measured both average weight loss and belly fat. Both groups lost about the same amount of weight during the trial. However, those drinking the fortified OJ saw a significantly greater reduction in their belly fat. In other words, the two nutrients helped the participants shed the belly fat first.
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The researchers said the difference in belly fat loss was “significant.” They also said that their findings “suggest calcium and/or vitamin D supplementation contributes to a beneficial reduction of belly fat.”
Nan Kathryn Fuchs, PhD, wrote about the weight loss abilities of calcium many years ago in Women’s Health Letter. So these findings aren’t surprising. However, the addition of vitamin D may help any weight loss come from the belly rather than general fat reduction around the entire body.
We know that vitamin D helps your bones absorb calcium. So it’s quite possible there’s a synergistic effort between the two nutrients in weight loss as well.
Mainstream doctors tell women to take 1,000-1,500 mg of calcium every day. That's way too much. Most women get plenty of calcium in their diet. Taking too much can lead to calcified arteries and other health problems. So limit your supplemental calcium intake to 500 mg daily.
To make sure your body actually absorbs the calcium you take, add 500 mg of magnesium and 5,000 IU of vitamin D daily. In addition to helping you absorb the calcium, the vitamin D may help you lose some of your belly fat as well. You can order a high-quality vitamin D supplement by following this link.
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Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
Rosenblum JL, Castro VM, Moore CE, Kaplan LM. “Calcium and vitamin D supplementation is associated with decreased abdominal visceral adipose tissue in overweight and obese adults.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan;95(1):101-8. Epub 2011 Dec 14.