Does adult calcium intake influence body composition? A review

Emma Derbyshire (Department of Food, Hospitality & Tourism, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Publication date: 14 September 2010



Emerging evidence indicates that there may be a link between calcium intake and body composition . However, few review papers to date appear to collate this information. This paper aims to fill this gap.


All randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and large observational studies published between 1998 and 2009 were identified using Medline scientific database. Studies had a minimum duration of 30 days and included all sources of calcium (dairy and supplemental).


Twenty‐one studies were identified; including 14 RCTs and seven large observational studies. Twelve studies (seven of the RCTs) reported that regular consumption of dietary or dairy calcium may reduce fat mass in adults. Nine studies (seven of the RCTs) found no association between calcium intake and body composition. Two studies reported that fat loss was augmented when a calcium‐rich diet was combined with energy restriction. Overall, results from reviewed studies yield conflicting findings. Further intervention studies are needed to “separate out” the effects of habitual, supplemental and dairy calcium. More studies also need to investigate the combined effects of a calcium‐rich diet and energy restriction. Only then can calcium‐rich diets be used alongside conventional treatments for obesity.


This paper gives a concise, up‐to‐date review of literature investigating the link between calcium intake and adult body composition.



Derbyshire, E. (2010), "Does adult calcium intake influence body composition? A review", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 40 No. 5, pp. 494-503.

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