British Journal of Nutrition

Short Communication

Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and fat mass loss in female very low-calcium consumers: potential link with a calcium-specific appetite control

Geneviève C. Majora1, Francine P. Alariea1, Jean Doréa1 and Angelo Tremblaya1 c1

a1 Division of Kinesiology, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, Ste-Foy, Québec, Canada G1K 7P4


This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted to compare the effect of a 15-week weight-reducing programme ( − 2900 kJ/d) coupled with a calcium plus vitamin D (calcium+D) supplementation (600 mg elemental calcium and 5 μg vitamin D, consumed twice a day) or with a placebo, on body fat and on spontaneous energy/macronutrient intake. Sixty-three overweight or obese women (mean age 43 years, mean BMI 32 kg/m2) reporting a daily calcium intake < 800 mg participated in present study. Anthropometric variables, resting energy expenditure and spontaneous energy intake were measured before and after the 15-week programme. The calcium+D supplementation induced no statistically significant increase in fat mass loss in response to the programme. However, when analyses were limited to very low-calcium consumers only (initial calcium intake ≤ 600 mg/d, n 7 for calcium+D, n 6 for placebo), a significant decrease in body weight and fat mass (P < 0·01) and in spontaneous dietary lipid intake (P < 0·05) was observed in the calcium+D but not in the placebo group. In very low-calcium consumers, change in fat mass was positively correlated with change in lipid intake. During the weight-reducing programme, a calcium+D supplementation was necessary in female overweight/obese very low-calcium consumers to reach significant fat mass loss that seemed to be partly explained by a decrease in lipid intake. We propose that this change in lipid intake could be influenced by a calcium-specific appetite control.

(Received December 07 2007)

(Revised June 06 2008)

(Accepted June 08 2008)

(Online publication July 17 2008)


c1 Corresponding author: Dr Angelo Tremblay, fax +1 418 656 2441, email


Abbreviations: calcium+D, calcium plus vitamin D; VL-CC, very low-calcium consumer