The effect of calcium supplementation on fat metabolism during recreational exercise

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Bradley, John L.
Woods, Trevor
Murphy, S.
Keane, L.
O'Brien, Nora M.
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School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork.
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Evidence has emerged suggesting dietary calcium can modulate energy metabolism. Studies have linked whole body fat oxidation during free living activities to both acute and habitual calcium intake. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between acute calcium intake and whole body fat oxidation during simulated recreational activity. Thirty min following ingestion of 800mg calcium supplement or placebo, fat metabolism was monitored during 45min of treadmill walking. Expired air was sampled throughout by online metabolic spirometry (Cosmed CPET, Italy) and analysed for metabolic fuel using indirect calorimetry. The results showed a single, acute calcium supplement of 800mg had no effect on fat metabolism compared to the placebo condition during walking. Contrary to findings from 24 hour studies monitoring calcium intake and macronutrient oxidation, this suggests single acute calcium supplementation protocols are not enough to increase energy metabolism or influence fat metabolism. Evidence suggests that calcium intake increases energy metabolism via whole body systemic changes. Increased energy metabolism and fat oxidation may only occur when recreational exercise is combined with habitual calcium supplementation.
Calcium supplementation
Bradley, J.L., Woods, T., Murphy, S., Keane, L., O'Brien, N.M. 2009. The effect of calcium supplementation on fat metabolism during recreational exercise. In UCC (University College Cork), Proceedings of the 39th annual research conference in Food, Nutrition and Consumer Sciences.