Calcium and vitamin D supplementation is associated with decreased abdominal visceral adipose tissue in overweight and obese adults

Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan;95(1):101-8. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.019489. Epub 2011 Dec 14.


Background: Several studies suggest that calcium and vitamin D (CaD) may play a role in the regulation of abdominal fat mass.

Objective: This study investigated the effect of CaD-supplemented orange juice (OJ) on weight loss and reduction of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) in overweight and obese adults (mean ± SD age: 40.0 ± 12.9 y).

Design: Two parallel, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials were conducted with either regular or reduced-energy (lite) orange juice. For each 16-wk trial, 171 participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups. The treatment groups consumed three 240-mL glasses of OJ (regular or lite) fortified with 350 mg Ca and 100 IU vitamin D per serving, and the control groups consumed either unfortified regular or lite OJ. Computed tomography scans of VAT and subcutaneous adipose tissue were performed by imaging a single cut at the lumbar 4 level.

Results: After 16 wk, the average weight loss (∼2.45 kg) did not differ significantly between groups. In the regular OJ trial, the reduction of VAT was significantly greater (P = 0.024) in the CaD group (-12.7 ± 25.0 cm(2)) than in the control group (-1.3 ± 13.6 cm(2)). In the lite OJ trial, the reduction of VAT was significantly greater (P = 0.039) in the CaD group (-13.1 ± 18.4 cm(2)) than in the control group (-6.4 ± 17.5 cm(2)) after control for baseline VAT. The effect of calcium and vitamin D on VAT remained highly significant when the results of the 2 trials were combined (P = 0.007).

Conclusions: The findings suggest that calcium and/or vitamin D supplementation contributes to a beneficial reduction of VAT. This trial is registered at as NCT00386672, NCT01363115.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Beverages
  • Calcium / pharmacology
  • Calcium / therapeutic use*
  • Calcium, Dietary / pharmacology
  • Calcium, Dietary / therapeutic use*
  • Citrus
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Food, Fortified
  • Humans
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / drug effects*
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / metabolism
  • Male
  • Micronutrients / pharmacology
  • Micronutrients / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Overweight / drug therapy
  • Overweight / metabolism
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Vitamin D / pharmacology
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use*
  • Weight Loss / drug effects*


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Micronutrients
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium

Associated data