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Calcium plus vitamin D3 supplementation facilitated Fat loss in overweight and obese college students with very-low calcium consumption: a randomized controlled trial

Wei Zhu12, Donglian Cai2*, Ying Wang2, Ning Lin3, Qingqing Hu2, Yang Qi2, Shuangshuang Ma2 and Sidath Amarasekara2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Nutrition, Shanghai Institute of Health Sciences, Shanghai, 201318, China

2 Department of Clinical Nutrition, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, 200433, China

3 Department of Clinical Nutrition, Chengdu Military General Hospital, Chengdu, 610083, China

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Nutrition Journal 2013, 12:8  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-8

Published: 8 January 2013



Recent evidence suggests that higher calcium and/or vitamin D intake may be associated with lower body weight and better metabolic health. Due to contradictory findings from intervention trials, we investigated the effect of calcium plus vitamin D3 (calcium+D) supplementation on anthropometric and metabolic profiles during energy restriction in healthy, overweight and obese adults with very-low calcium consumption.


Fifty-three subjects were randomly assigned in an open-label, randomized controlled trial to receive either an energy-restricted diet (−500 kcal/d) supplemented with 600 mg elemental calcium and 125 IU vitamin D3 or energy restriction alone for 12 weeks. Repeated measurements of variance were performed to evaluate the differences between groups for changes in body weight, BMI, body composition, waist circumference, and blood pressures, as well as in plasma TG, TC, HDL, LDL, glucose and insulin concentrations.


Eighty-one percent of participants completed the trial (85% from the calcium + D group; 78% from the control group). A significantly greater decrease in fat mass loss was observed in the calcium + D group (−2.8±1.3 vs.-1.8±1.3 kg; P=0.02) than in the control group, although there was no significant difference in body weight change (P>0.05) between groups. The calcium + D group also exhibited greater decrease in visceral fat mass and visceral fat area (P<0.05 for both). No significant difference was detected for changes in metabolic variables (P>0.05).


Calcium plus vitamin D3 supplementation for 12 weeks augmented body fat and visceral fat loss in very-low calcium consumers during energy restriction.

Trial registration (NCT01447433, webcite).

Calcium; Vitamin D3; Adiposity; Body weight; Body fat; Visceral fat; Metabolic profiles