Research findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition report that calcium from dairy sources, but not supplements, may decrease fat absorption in the blood after eating.
The small study assigned 18 participants to randomly receive one of four meals containing high (172 mg), medium (84 mg) or low (15 mg) amounts of calcium from dairy, or a calcium supplement (calcium carbonate - 183 mg).
Researchers then measured the postprandial lipid response in participants - which is the amount of fat absorbed into the blood after eating.
Consumption of calcium from dairy sources decreased the postprandial lipid response by 17 percent in the medium calcium meal and by 19 percent in the high calcium meal, compared to the low calcium meal. The supplement did not lower postprandial lipid levels.
While these findings suggest different forms of calcium may play an important role in lowering the lipid response after meals, further studies are needed to support these preliminary findings.
Rich sources of dietary calcium include dairy products, fortified soy beverages, fortified orange juice, tofu, sardines and almonds.
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