Based on earlier research that found obese men lost fat quickly on high calcium diets, a controlled study examined the impact of calcium intake and fat loss in mice. The research seems to show that high calcium intake may be a good idea for those interested in losing fat and keeping it off. In fact, calcium shows surprising slimming power, perhaps by stimulating hormones that govern the storage of fat into fat cells.
Hang Shi, a postdoctoral student in the Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville said,
"The effect of an increased calcium intake may help reduce body fat. The effect is very significant, much more than we imagined it would be."
His paper on the effects of a high-calcium diet in increasing body fat loss was presented at the Experimental Biology 2000 meeting in San Diego. "The magnitude of the findings was shocking," says Michael Zemel, PhD, director of the Nutrition Institute. In past studies, Zemel and colleagues have shown that calcium stored in fat cells plays a crucial role in regulating how fat is stored and broken down by the body. It's thought that the more calcium there is in a fat cell, the more fat it will burn.
Special Study Reveals Calciums Effect on Decreasing Body Fat:
In a special study on obese mice, those put on a diet and given calcium supplements experienced a 42% decrease in body fat, whereas mice dieting without supplements had only an 8% decrease. They also discovered a way to increase this fat loss by 69.4% by consuming natural forms of calcium found in foods instead of supplements.
Men of all ages need about 1,000 - 1,200 mg per day. The recommended intake is 1,000 mg for women 25 to 50 years of age and for women over 50 who take estrogen. For women 50 or older who are not taking estrogen and for all women over 65, 1,500 mg is recommended.
Eight ounces of milk (or yogurt) contains about 300 mg of calcium. However, some people are lactose intolerant so consuming dairy foods is not an option. In this case, your best bet is to consume green leafy vegetables and legumes to provide your daily allowance of calcium.
Of course, you can also take a calcium pill as this is an option. However, it's best to get your calcium from food sources because of their inclusion of other highly beneficial and necessary substances as well.
Good sources of natural foods that contain high amounts of calcium are:
* Sardines - 3 ounces = 371 mg.
* Collard Greens - 1 cup = 148-357 mg.
* Turnip Greens - 1 cup cooked = 194-249 mg.
* Kale - 1 cup cooked = 94-179 mg.
* Chinese Cabbage - 1 cup cooked = 158 mg.
* Shrimp - 3 ounces = 98 mg.
* Brocolli - 1 cup cooked = 94 mg.
* Green Beans - 1 cup cooked = 67 mg.
* Dried beans - 1 cup cooked = 50-90 mg.
* Eggs - 1 large egg = 30 mg.
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