Calcium Supplements in Healthy Children Do Not Affect Weight Gain, Height, or Body Composition*

Menzies Research Institute, Private Bag 23, Hobart, TAS 7001 Australia.
Obesity (Impact Factor: 3.73). 08/2007; 15(7):1789-98. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2007.213
Source: PubMed


Calcium intake is a potential factor influencing weight gain and may reduce body weight, but the evidence for this in children is conflicting. The aim of this study was to use data from randomized controlled trials to determine whether calcium supplementation in healthy children affects weight or body composition.
This study is a systematic review. We identified potential studies by searching the following electronic bibliographic databases: CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED, MANTIS, ISI Web of Science, Food Science and Technology Abstracts, and Human Nutrition up until April 1, 2005 and hand-searched relevant conference abstracts. Studies were included if they were placebo-controlled randomized controlled trials of calcium supplementation, with at least 3 months of supplementation, in healthy children and with outcome measures including weight. Meta-analyses were performed using fixed effects models and weighted mean differences for weight and height and standardized mean differences (SMDs) for body composition measures.
There were no statistically significant effects of calcium supplementation on weight [+0.14 kg; 95% confidence interval (CI), -0.28, +0.57 kg], height (+0.22 cm; 95% CI, -0.30, +0.74 cm), body fat (SMD, +0.04; 95% CI, -0.08, +0.15), or lean mass (SMD, +0.14; 95% CI, -0.03, +0.31).
There is no evidence to support the use of calcium supplementation as a public health intervention to reduce weight gain or body fat in healthy children. Although our results do not rule out an effect of dietary supplementation with dairy products on weight gain or body composition, there is little evidence to support this hypothesis.

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Available from: Kelly Shaw, Oct 13, 2014
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    • "Further, it has been suggested that high calcium intake may influence body weight through increases in fecal fat excretion, fat oxidation, and thermogenesis [69, 70]. However, a recent meta-analysis of childhood calcium supplementation studies reports no significant association between supplementation and any measure of weight or body composition [71], which is supported by the findings of a similar review in adults [72]. Thus, while there is some evidence for plausible mechanisms linking reduced calcium with increased adiposity, the lack of evidence linking calcium intake with changes in actual measures of body composition suggests that reductions in calcium intake do not represent an important cause of the Canadian childhood obesity epidemic. "
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    ABSTRACT: As a group, Canadian children and youth are heavier than at any time in the recent past. However, to date there has been no critical examination of the factors which are likely to have contributed to these deleterious trends. A review of the evidence suggests that there is robust evidence supporting the role of reduced sleep, increased sedentary time, increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, and secular increases in adult obesity as contributing factors to the current epidemic of childhood obesity. There is moderate evidence that these trends are related to changes in either total energy intake or physical activity, while there is very little evidence supporting the role of maternal age, breastfeeding, exposure to endocrine disrupters, or inadequate calcium intake. These findings suggest that targeting sleep, sedentary time, and sugar-sweetened beverage intake in Canadian children and youth may help to prevent future weight gain at the population level.
    12/2011; 2011:917684. DOI:10.5402/2011/917684
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    • "There is substantial evidence that greater milk consumption or milk supplementation is associated with increases in bone mineral content among children (Black et al. 2002; Zhu et al. 2004; He et al. 2005), an effect attributable in part to milk's calcium (Winzenberg et al. 2006) and/or insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) (Budek et al. 2007). With respect to linear growth, calcium supplementation does not appear to positively influence height in children (Dibba et al. 2000; Cameron et al. 2004; Gibbons et al. 2004; Winzenberg et al. 2007). IGF-I is part of the protein fraction of milk and is structurally identical in cow's and human milk. "
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about how cow's milk consumption affects growth of young children. The present study evaluated associations between milk consumption and height among preschool-age children in three ethnic groups in the USA. A sample of 1002 children aged 24-59 months from NHANES 1999-2002 was used. Multivariate regression tested for associations between milk consumption (milk kJ/total kJ from 24 h recall, daily vs less frequent intake over 30 days) and height, controlling for age, sex, ethnicity, birth weight, and energy intake. Children in the highest quartile of milk intake (QIV) were taller (1.1-1.2 cm; p<0.01) than those in QII and QIII but not QI. Total calcium had a positive effect on height (p<0.01), but did not change the height differences among percentiles. Total protein was not associated with height and QIV children were taller (0.9-1.2 cm) than those in all other quartiles. Children who drank milk daily were taller (1.0 cm; p<0.02) than those with less frequent intake. Consumption of other dairy products (other dairy kJ/total kJ) had no association with height. Blacks were taller than Whites and Mexican-Americans; controlling for milk intake did not alter this pattern. Milk contributes positively to height among preschool children; this association was not found for non-milk dairy products.
    Annals of Human Biology 03/2009; 36(2):125-38. DOI:10.1080/03014460802680466 · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of calcium supplementation at different levels on bone mineral accretion and body composition in Chinese adolescents with low habitual calcium intakes. A double-blind randomized controlled trial (RCT) of four doses of calcium supplementation given for 24 months to 257 (135 boys and 122 girls) healthy adolescents aged 12-15 years. The subjects were randomly assigned to four groups, each group receiving chewable calcium carbonate tablets providing elemental calcium at 63, 354, 660, or 966 mg/d, respectively. Bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) of the total body, lumbar spine and body composition were measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptionmetry. Information on dietary intakes and physical activity were collected with questionnaires. Subjects were re-classified as three groups by actual total calcium intakes while average total calcium intakes in each group were 386, 629 and 984 mg/d. After supplementation, BMC of total body in Group two (2464g) and Group three (2437g) were significant higher than that in Group one (2321g) in males. Similar significant differences in lean body mass and body weight (P<0.05) were also found in males. However, there were no significant differences among groups in females. Gender, puberty development, physical activity and calcium intakes played a significant role in BMC retention at total body in adolescents (Rc2=0.429). In conclusion, calcium supplementation more than 250 mg/d lasting for two years improves growth of BMC, lean body mass and weight in Chinese male adolescents with low habitual calcium intakes. Gender, tanner stage, physical activity and calcium intakes are the most important factors on BMC retention.
    01/1970: pages 67-72;
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