Effects of calcium supplementation on body weight and blood pressure in normal older women: a randomized controlled trial

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Jul;90(7):3824-9. doi: 10.1210/jc.2004-2205. Epub 2005 Apr 12.


Context: Epidemiological data suggest that high calcium intakes are associated with decreased body weight and blood pressure. However, there is little evidence from randomized trials that addresses these important issues.

Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the long-term effects of calcium on body weight and blood pressure.

Design: This is a substudy of an ongoing, double-blind, randomized, controlled trial of calcium supplementation. End points were assessed at 30 months.

Setting: This study was performed at a university medical center.

Participants: Normal postmenopausal women (mean age, 74 yr; mean weight, 67 kg; mean blood pressure, 134/70 mm Hg at baseline) participated in this study.

Intervention: Study subjects were treated with calcium (1 g/d; n = 732) and placebo (n = 739).

Main outcome measures: Body weight and blood pressure were the main outcome measures.

Results: Weight decreased by 368 +/- 132 g (mean +/- se) with calcium treatment and by 369 +/- 134 g with placebo (P = 0.93). Fat and lean masses did not show an effect of calcium. Blood pressure showed transient reductions of 1-2 mm Hg at 6 months in the calcium group, resulting in a significant between-group difference only for systolic pressure (P = 0.048). At 30 months, the change from baseline in systolic pressure was 0.0 +/- 0.9 mm Hg in the calcium group and 2.4 +/- 0.9 mm Hg in the placebo group (P = 0.14). For diastolic pressures, the changes were -0.2 +/- 0.4 and 0.8 +/- 0.4 mm Hg, respectively (P = 0.13). In those with baseline calcium intakes less than 600 mg/d, the treatment effect was greater and did persist.

Conclusions: Calcium supplementation of 1 g/d does not produce biologically significant effects on body weight, and its hypotensive effect is small and transient in most women.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight*
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged


  • Calcium, Dietary