Do you think that the University of Tennessee holds the patent to this claim because they funded the calcium/weight loss studies? If you think this is so, you would be wrong again, as members of the dairy industry, as well as the National Dairy Council have provided funding for these studies.
So Dr. Klauer – who oddly doesn’t make any mention of Dr. Zemel or details about his research in her book – is selling us on this calcium diet based on three studies dealing with 46 people with funding that came from members of the dairy industry.
In contrast to this, there have been two published studies – one from the University of Vermont and one from the University of Adelaide in Australia – dealing with a total of 95 subjects that found the subjects did not lose more weight by eating dairy/calcium.
But it doesn’t end here. Dr. Zemel himself has some very interesting comments when it comes to explaining the calcium/weight loss link. Zemel has stated publicly that his research is limited and applies only to people who have below-normal levels of calcium in their diets. In an October 24, 2005 article written by syndicated columnist Charles Platkin, Zemel says that there is a “plateau effect with calcium and weight loss after your necessary dose” of calcium is reached.
So in other words, even if calcium does in some way help you lose weight, once you get the proper amount of calcium in your diet, the weight loss that calcium may contribute to will stop.
Dr. Klauer does not make any mention of this “plateau effect” in this chapter.
Here’s one more Zemel thought on the issue. In an item by Shari Rudavsky posted on the Indianapolis Star’s web site on July 24, 2005 when asked if it matters what the source of calcium is with regards to weight loss Zemel said, “dairy products appear to have the greatest effect, and believes components other than calcium likely contribute” (My emphasis).
I think that’s quite enough to cast substantial doubt on the calcium diet, don’t you?
Here’s one more troubling item. In this chapter Dr. Klauer asserts that her high-calcium diet somehow eliminates “middle-aged belly fat” first. Since there is hardly any reliable info that calcium may be responsible for weight loss I don’t see any way that this claim can be made.