Calcium, obesity, and the role of the calcium-sensing receptor

Nutr Rev. 2014 Oct;72(10):627-37. doi: 10.1111/nure.12135. Epub 2014 Sep 2.


The elevated prevalence of obesity worldwide is a challenging public health problem. Dietary calcium intake is frequently below recommendations, and evidence gathered for more than a decade suggests that inadequate calcium intake may be related to increased body weight and/or body fat, although a consensus has yet to be reached. Whole-body energy balance and the cellular mechanisms involved have been proposed to explain this relationship, and increasing evidence from epidemiological, clinical, and basic research lends support to the hypothesis that calcium is linked to the regulation of body weight. This review provides a critical appraisal of evidence from studies that examined several different aspects of this issue. Different mechanisms are highlighted and, based on recent work, new perspectives are offered, which incorporate the concept of obesity-associated inflammation and the possible role of the extracellular calcium-sensing receptor.

Keywords: CaSR; adipocyte; body fat; body weight; calcium-sensing receptor; dietary calcium; obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / prevention & control
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Receptors, Calcium-Sensing / physiology*
  • Weight Gain


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Receptors, Calcium-Sensing