I just got this email from Brigham & Women's Hospital regarding calcium. Thought you might want to see it.
Health-e-Weight for Women Newsletter
Calcium: A Contributor To Weight Control
It is well known that calcium helps ward off osteoporosis. It reportedly improves blood pressure, lessens Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) discomforts and may lower the risk for colon cancer too. Now there is accumulating evidence suggesting that this mineral may also help us to minimize any weight gain and potentially promote weight loss.
Data from various studies show one similar effect - individuals, particularly women, who consume higher calcium intakes are less likely to be overweight. One study, in particular, found that the women getting less than 600 milligrams of calcium a day had significantly greater body weight, percentage body fat, fat mass, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and abdominal fat tissue (the more risky form of fat accumulation) than those getting at least 600 to 1,000 milligrams a day.
How exactly does calcium influence weight? It is thought that a lower calcium intake triggers hormonal changes that prompt fat cells to store fat and limit fat breakdown. Higher calcium diets, however, seem to favor fat burning rather than fat storing. Calcium intake variations appear to alter the body's fat-burning mechanisms, thereby either contributing to or curtailing weight gain. The goal is to aim for at least a daily calcium total of 1,000 milligrams or 1,200 if over age 50. No one should try to get more than 2,500 milligrams a day as that can hinder health.
Interestingly, the evidence so far points to dietary calcium rather than the supplemental form as being the fat fighter. Most research shows that calcium from low-fat dairy is more effective in aiding weight loss than an equivalent amount of calcium from supplements or fortified food products. It is therefore possible that some other component in food, aside from calcium, deserves credit.
To hedge your bets, consume foods naturally rich in calcium more regularly from the sampling of foods listed in the chart below. While calories consumed and expended are still the cornerstones of weight management, eating sufficient amounts of calcium may not only keep other health problems at bay but also help to keep the pounds away.
Food Calcium Content*
Yogurt, Nonfat Plain (1 cup) 400
Sardines with bones, canned (3.75oz) 351
Skim milk (1 cup) 300
Salmon with bones - red, canned (3.5oz) 260
Cheddar cheese (1 oz) 205
Salmon with bones - pink, canned (3.5oz) 195
Sesame seeds (2 tbsp.) 160
Shrimp (1/2 cup) 44
Mustard, collard or turnip greens (1/2 cup cooked)140
Soybeans green Edamame (1/2 cup) 125
Soy nuts dry roasted (1/4 cup) 113
Cottage cheese, 1% fat (1/2 cup) 69
Kale, frozen (1/2 cup cooked) 90
Almonds ~22 pieces (1 oz) 75
Papaya (1 medium) 73
Parmesan cheese (2 tbsp.) 110
Orange (1 medium) 60
Broccoli spears, frozen (1/2 cup cooked) 47
* USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
Jacqmain, M., etal. AJCN, 77 2003
Zemel, M Lipids 38 2003