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Caloric Restriction and Calcium's Effect on Bone Metabolism and Body Composition in Overweight and Obese Premenopausal Women

Dr. Tim L. Radak PH, RD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2004.tb00019.x 468-481 First published online: 1 December 2004


Obesity results in numerous preventable deaths and comorbidities. Unfortunately, a reduction of body weight has been correlated with a reduction in bone mass, the reasons for which have not been fully elucidated. The importance of maximizing peak bone mass during premenopausal years is well known. Most studies demonstrate a positive relationship between calcium intake and bone mass. However, during caloric restriction, which is commonly used for weight loss, calcium intake has shown mixed results. Calcium from dairy sources has received additional attention, beyond its importance to bone, for its role in regulating body weight and composition. Dairy foods are perceived as high fat, and therefore, are generally minimized or avoided during caloric restriction. The current calcium intake for premenopausal women is significantly below recommendations, and even if met during caloric restriction, may not be adequate. This review underscores the need for maintaining at least adequate intake levels of calcium, if not more, during weight loss regimens to minimize potential long-term detrimental effects on bone metabolism.

  • weight loss
  • caloric restriction
  • calcium
  • bone mineral density

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