June 5, 2000
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.--Consuming low levels of calcium may stimulate weight loss; it appears that calcium turns on a gene that triggers a cell's fat intake.
Scientists at the University of Tennessee gave calcium supplements to mice genetically engineered with a gene that is normally found in human fat cells. Mice were put on various reduced-calorie diets and mice receiving 500 mg per day of calcium (equivalent to an American woman's intake) lost eight percent body fat. However, mice receiving 1,600 mg daily lost 42 percent body fat.
Humans wanting to duplicate these results may experience adverse effects. Only 40 percent of calcium carbonate is calcium, and eight 500 mg calcium carbonate tablets would need to be ingested to take in 1,600 mg, which may cause the stomach to not absorb other nutrients. For more information, visit www.sciencenews.org.
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