June 1, 2000
Calcium May Hold Key to Weight Loss
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.--Consuming supplemental calcium may stimulate weight loss--it appearsthat calcium turns on a gene that triggers a cell's fat intake.
Scientists at the University of Tennessee gave calcium supplements to mice geneticallyengineered with a gene that is normally found in human fat cells. Mice were put on variousreduced-calorie diets and mice receiving 500 mg per day of calcium (equivalent to anAmerican woman's intake) lost eight percent body fat. However, mice receiving 1,600 mgdaily lost 42 percent body fat.
Humans wanting to duplicate these results may experience adverse effects. Only 40percent of calcium carbonate is calcium, and eight 500 mg calcium carbonate tablets wouldneed to be ingested to take in 1,600 mg, which may cause the stomach to not absorb othernutrients. For more information, visit www.sciencenews.org.
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