Wednesday, October 17, 2018
 High Calcium Intake May Help Maintain Healthy Weight  
A review of research recently released in the journal Nutrition Reviews found a positive link between high calcium intake and improved body composition and weight maintenance across a range of ages.
"This comprehensive review of pre-existing data gives us a solid snapshot of  the scientific evidence linking consumption of calcium in dairy foods with a healthy weight," said Robert P. Heaney, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.N., Professor of Medicine at Creighton University and lead researcher of this study. "In the majority of the studies we reviewed, dairy foods were the main source of calcium. Unfortunately, most adults consume well below the recommended level of calcium. The implication is that getting the recommended three daily servings of dairy foods can be an important part of a weight maintenance program. Additionally, choosing dairy foods is a calcium strategy that's safe, convenient and economical. Furthermore, low-fat and fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt provide a wide range of essential nutrients, not just calcium."
In this review, researchers looked at data from more than 90 studies including randomized clinical trials, metabolic experiments and observational studies that assessed the relationship between calcium and/or dairy intake and the proportion of fat and lean body mass in the body. The authors concluded that the majority of research suggests high calcium intake, from sources including dairy foods, may affect body composition by some combination of reducing body fat mass while maintaining lean body mass, reducing weight gain, and increasing weight loss on calorie-restricted diets.
Despite the numerous health benefits of calcium, Americans are not consuming enough. Researchers in the review concluded that improving dairy consumption not only helps to increase calcium intakes, but also is a safe and inexpensive way to address the obesity epidemic. Close to nine out of 10 women (88 percent) and six out of 10 men (63 percent) ages 19 and up fail to meet daily calcium recommendations.
Dairy foods, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, are excellent sources of calcium. Milk and milk products provide nearly 75 percent of the calcium available in the food supply.3 In fact, three 8-ounce glasses of milk provide about 90 percent of the Daily Value (DV) of calcium.4 In addition to calcium, milk provides eight other essential nutrients including potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin and niacin (niacin equivalents). The DGA recommends that people over the age of nine consume three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy foods each day.
"The calcium and eight other essential nutrients that together, milk and milk products provide, are critical for an overall healthy diet," said Ann Marie Krautheim, M.A., R.D., L.D., senior vice president of Nutrition Affairs for National Dairy Council. "This review of research concludes that dairy may also help to maintain an overall healthy weight—another great reason to consume three servings of low-fat or fat-free nutrient-rich dairy foods a day."
Source: Mid-West Dairy Council

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