Background and objective: We have previously demonstrated an antiobesity effect of dietary Ca; this is largely mediated by Ca suppression of calcitriol levels, resulting in reduced adipocyte intracellular Ca2+ and, consequently, a coordinated increase in lipid utilization and decrease in lipogenesis. Notably, dairy Ca is markedly more effective than other Ca sources.
Design: Obese subjects were placed on balanced deficit (-500 kcal/day) diets and randomized to control (400-500 mg Ca/day; n = 16) or yogurt (1100 mg Ca/day; n = 18) treatments for 12 weeks. Dietary macronutrients and fiber were held constant at the US average.
Measurements: Body weight, body fat and fat distribution (by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), blood pressure and circulating lipids were measured at baseline and after 12 weeks of intervention.
Results: Fat loss was markedly increased on the yogurt diet (-4.43+/-0.47 vs -2.75+/-0.73 kg in yogurt and control groups; P<0.005) while lean tissue loss was reduced by 31% on the yogurt diet. Trunk fat loss was augmented by 81% on the yogurt vs control diet (P<0.001), and this was reflected in a markedly greater reduction in waist circumference (-3.99+/-0.48 vs -0.58+/-1.04 cm, P<0.001). Further, the fraction of fat lost from the trunk was higher on the yogurt diet vs control (P<0.005).
Conclusion: Isocaloric substitution of yogurt for other foods significantly augments fat loss and reduces central adiposity during energy restriction..