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Another Good Reason to Take Calcium Supplements

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by , March 24th, 2009 at 09:23 PM (1550 Views)
Hit the local wildlife park for a 6 mile easy trail run. Great day to run with temps in the low 70s and a slight wind. Got it done in just under an hour. On my last mile, I was thinking that it would be really fun to do a social long run with Fort, quicksilver, geek, and Heather Rietz.

Later, hit the Y for some weights and dryland work.


Lat pulldowns: 3 sets of 95 x 15
Military press: 3 sets of 35 x 15
Tricep pulldowns: 3 sets of 30 x 15
Hammer curls: 3 sets of 10 x 15

Core work:

1 x 50 crunches - legs on Swiss ball
1 x 50 bicycle crunches
1 x 50 side crunches (25 each side)
1 x 50 scissors
1 x 50 sit-ups with medicine ball (10 lbs.)
3 sets of 20 leg raises done in dip chair (alternate 1 straight leg raise with 1 bent knee raise; every other straight leg raise should have toes pointed forward while the other straight leg raise should have feet flexed upward)

3 sets of each of the following toe raises:

10 raises with toes straight forward
10 raises with feet turned out
10 raises with feet turned in

Headed to the store earlier this evening to buy some calcium supplements. Since I have upped my running mileage, I feel it important to be getting enough calcium, especially since I suffered a nasty stress facture in the femoral neck 9 years ago. The other day I came across the following studies I found to be rather interesting. Yes, I am on a quest to be a lean, mean, fighting machine and am pleased to know that taking calcium supplements might aid me in my quest!

Weight-Loss Tip: Add Extra Calcium to a Low-Fat Diet

By Jeanie Lerche Davis
WebMD Health News

April 17, 2000 -- Got milk? New research suggests you should if you want to lose weight. The study shows that calcium -- three or four daily servings of low-fat dairy products -- can help adjust your body's fat-burning machinery.
The key is low-fat dairy sources, says lead author Hang Shi, a postdoctoral student in the Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. "High-fat dietary calcium can establish obesity, but it's surprising that low-fat calcium may help reduce body fat," Shi tells WebMD. "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, who is Shi's co-author and doctoral supervisor.
In their 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.
The researchers used mice bred to be obese in their current study. The mice were fed a special high-fat, high-sugar diet for six weeks. All had a 27% increase in body fat.
Some were then switched to a calorie-restricted diet. Of those, one group was given calcium supplements (calcium carbonate similar to Tums) and others were fed "medium" and "high" amounts of low-fat dry milk.
Body fat storage was markedly reduced by all three high-calcium diets, say the authors.
Those given calcium supplements had good results, when combined with the restricted-calorie diet. Mice getting their calcium via supplements had a 42% decrease in body fat, whereas mice eating without supplements had an 8% body fat loss.
However, calcium from dairy products produced the best results. Mice on the "medium-dairy" diet had a 60% decrease in body fat, while those on the "high-dairy" diet lost 69% body fat. Researchers also found very small increases in thermogenesis -- the body's core temperature -- which then enhances the effects of calcium gained through diet rather than calcium in supplement form, says Zemel.
"Calcium is no magic bullet. What the study says is that ... higher-calcium diets favor burning rather than storing fat. Calcium changes the efficiency of weight loss," Zemel tells WebMD.
The human body's metabolism makes weight loss difficult, he explains. "Many people who stick to a calorie-reduced diet don't lose weight as fast as they think they should. That's because they activate metabolic protection ... Their bodies sense starvation and hang on to energy -- fat -- more voraciously."
Too many dieters tend to immediately "jettison dairy foods from their diet, because they're just sure they're going to make them fat. In fact, they're shooting themselves in the foot, because they subject themselves to more empty-calorie sources. They would be better off if they would substitute high-fat dairy products with low-fat dairy," says Zemel.

Keeping in mind that the mouse study is preliminary, it is very well done and shows promise, Pamela Meyers, PhD, a clinical nutritionist and assistant professor at Kennesaw State University near Atlanta, tells WebMD. "But the calcium amounts the study suggests are effectively equal to what the USDA already recommends as a minimum for adults," she adds.

While nonfat dry milk was used in this study, few people buy that product, says Meyers. "Also, there are people who are lactose intolerant who can't consume dairy products. That's why we need to look at other food sources of calcium, [such as] ... dark leafy vegetables, salmon, mackerel, almonds, and oats. ... They also are very high in fiber, which helps in terms of weight management."
If using calcium supplements, it's important to choose those with added vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium, which help the body to better absorb calcium, says Meyers.
This study was supported in part by the National Dairy Council.
Vital Information:

  • According to a recent study in mice, a diet that includes low-fat dairy products can aid weight loss.
  • Researchers say this is because calcium stored in fat cells plays an important role in fat storage and breakdown.
  • Current recommendations encourage men to consume 1,000 mg to 1,200 mg of calcium per day and women to consume 1,000 mg to 1,300 mg daily.
1: Nutr Res. 2008 Nov;28(11):783-90. Links

Dietary intervention with vitamin D, calcium, and whey protein reduced fat mass and increased lean mass in rats.

Siddiqui SM, Chang E, Li J, Burlage C, Zou M, Buhman KK, Koser S, Donkin SS, Teegarden D.
Interdepartmental Nutrition Program, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
The aim of the current study was to determine the effects and the mechanisms of inclusion of dietary whey protein, high calcium, and high vitamin D intake with either a high-sucrose or high-fat base diets on body composition of rodents. Male Wistar rats were assigned to either no whey protein, suboptimal calcium (0.25%), and vitamin D (400 IU/kg) diet (LD), or a diet containing whey protein, high calcium (1.5%), and vitamin D (10 000 IU/kg) diet (HD), and either high-fat (40% of energy) or high-sucrose (60%) base diets for 13 weeks. Liver tissue homogenates were used to determine [(14)C]glucose and [(14)C]palmitate oxidation. mRNA expression of enzymes related to energy metabolism in liver, adipose, and muscle, as well as regulators of muscle mass and insulin receptor was assessed. The results demonstrated that there was reduced accumulation of body fat mass (P = .01) and greater lean mass (P = .03) for the HD- compared to LD-fed group regardless of the background diet. There were no consistent differences between the LD and HD groups across background diets in substrate oxidation and mRNA expression for enzymes measured that regulate energy metabolism, myostatin, or muscle vascular endothelial growth factor. However, there was an increase in insulin receptor mRNA expression in muscle in the HD compared to the LD groups. In conclusion, elevated whey protein, calcium, and vitamin D intake resulted in reduced accumulation of body fat mass and increased lean mass, with a commensurate increase in insulin receptor expression, regardless of the level of calories from fat or sucrose.

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  1. The Fortress's Avatar
    Don't you need to be taking some Vitamin D with the Calcium to make sure it's absorbed?

    Nice run!

    Am I going to recognize you when next I see you? lol
  2. elise526's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress
    Don't you need to be taking some Vitamin D with the Calcium to make sure it's absorbed?

    Nice run!

    Am I going to recognize you when next I see you? lol
    Thanks, Fort! Got a calcium supplement that has calcium citrate, vitamin D, vitamin B-6, magnesium, zinc, copper, and manganese.

    Hopefully, I'll see the D.C. crew this summer and maybe my dark tan will keep you from recognizing me! lol
  3. The Fortress's Avatar
    Is this what you're doing for leg scissoring?
  4. elise526's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fortress
    Is this what you're doing for leg scissoring?
    No, but those look like some I should try. Thanks for that video.

    The ones I am doing are horizontal crosses. I lift my shoulder blades off the floor and put my hands under me on the small of my back for support. I feel it in my lower abs. I think it also has the added benefit of working the hip abd/add muscles and even the quads.
  5. elise526's Avatar
    The Navy Seals call what I'm doing "good morning darlings." lol
  6. quicksilver's Avatar
    Sounds like fun.
    I can't seem to wake up as early as Mr. Aquageek though.

    to do a social long run with Fort, quicksilver, geek, and Heather Rietz