The value of calcium when premenopausal women diet

Researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey report that overweight premenopausal women don’t lose bone when they diet if they take the recommended amount of calcium.

Here are the details.
44 overweight premenopausal women were randomly assigned to the following treatments.

  • Normal calcium (1 gram/day) during a 6-month diet
  • High calcium (1.8 gram/day) during a 6-month diet
  • Weight maintenance and 1 gram of calcium per day

And the results.

  • Weight loss combined with normal or high calcium intake resulted in no significant decrease in bone density or increase in bone metabolism.

The bottom line?
The study does not address any long-term consequences associated with bone loss — fracture. Not to be too cynical, but considering the general failure of dieting to achieve long-lasting changes in weight, the risk of not taking calcium might be academic.

Of course, adding calcium plus vitamin D to a weight-loss diet might improve cholesterol levels.

4/18/07 21:22 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.