Role of dietary calcium and its possible mechanism against metabolic disorders: A concise review

J Food Biochem. 2021 Apr;45(4):e13697. doi: 10.1111/jfbc.13697. Epub 2021 Mar 10.


The global prevalence of metabolic disorders including hypertension, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, nonalcoholic fatty liver, and cardiovascular diseases seemed to affect people of all ages cutting across the national, economic, and demographic barrier. Therefore, the prevention of metabolic disorders is considered of paramount importance. The dietary role of nutrients including vitamins and minerals is one of the recommended preventive measures against metabolic disorders in modern society. Recently, dietary calcium, a common nutrient not only showed a beneficial effect against obesity through weight management, but also gained great attention against the risk of metabolic disorders. Though dietary calcium shows several beneficial effects against metabolic disorders but some inconsistent results were also reported. So, the present review aims to extract recent knowledge as well as their possible underlying mechanisms regarding the role of dietary calcium against metabolic disorders. The present review also discusses the negative impact as well as prospect of calcium intake on health issues. In summary, high calcium diet prevents the harmful consequences of metabolic disorders by regulating hormonal actions, alteration in intracellular calcium level, renin-angiotensin system, intestinal fat absorption, fecal fat excretion, lipid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, inflammation, and oxidative stress which together improve the metabolic health of an individual. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Metabolic disorder is a global health issue across all sections of society and is growing rapidly in spite of several attempts by the scientific community to prevent it. Recently dietary calcium gained great attention in the last few years for its role in the management and treatment of metabolic disorders. The current review highlights the beneficial role of dietary calcium against several metabolic complications by exploring their underlying mechanisms at cellular level. This study will provide valuable information regarding the recommendation of dietary calcium in health policy as well as its inclusion in the dietary chart through calcium-rich foods and/or taking calcium supplements which can be a useful approach in preventing the risk of metabolic disorder depending on the health status of an individual.

Keywords: calcium; dyslipidemia; hypertension; insulin resistance; nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Diet
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Obesity


  • Calcium, Dietary