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Dietary Calcium and Dairy Modulation of Adiposity and Obesity Risk

Michael B. Zemel Ph D, Sharon L. Miller Ph D
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2004.tb00034.x 125-131 First published online: 1 April 2004


Dietary calcium plays a key role in the regulation of energy metabolism and obesity risk. This appears to be mediated primarily by dietary calcium modulation of circulating calcitriol, which in turn regulates adipocyte intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i). Increased [Ca2]i stimulates lipogenic gene expression and activity and inhibits lipolysis, resulting in increased adipocyte lipid accumulation. Since calcitriol stimulates adipocyte Ca2+ influx, low calcium diets promote adiposity, while dietary calcium-suppression of calcitriol reduces adiposity. These concepts are confirmed in controlled rodent studies as well as by epidemiological and clincial trial data, all of which confirm protection from obesity with high calcium intakes. Moreover, dairy sources of calcium exert markedly greater effects which are most likely attributable to additional bioactive compounds in dairy which act synergistically with calcium to attenuate adiposity.

  • dairy
  • calcium
  • adiposity
  • obesity

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