Most people want a sexy, toned midsection. Nevertheless, the pursuit of a six-pack can feel like the quest for the â€˜Holy Grailâ€™ to some.
You run for hours on your treadmill, eat a healthy diet, do hundreds of sit-ups every day and participate in strength training, waiting with great anticipation for those toned abs youâ€™d be proud to show off to appear. Yet, most people can tell you abdominal fat is tremendously hard to remove.
Vitamin D, Calcium, and Abdominal Fat?
Now researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center and Gastrointestinal Unit declare that drinking orange juice fortified with Vitamin D and calcium may be the answer to abdominal fat loss in overweight and obese adults.
During two parallel, double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical trials, scientists randomly assigned 171 participants to one of two groups. The orange juice group consumed three eight-ounce glasses of lite or regular juice fortified with 100 IU of vitamin D and 350 mg of calcium per serving, while the control group consumed the same quantity of lite or regular unfortified juice.
The results of the 16-week trial, published in the January 2012 edition of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition  produced some surprising results.
At the conclusion of 16 weeks, the study authors investigated the weight loss and body mass of study participants. Unexpectedly, no significant difference was seen in average weight loss between the two groups. However, the fortified group experienced considerably greater visceral fat loss when compared to the control group â€“ particularly those who consumed the lite fortified juice.
What Is Visceral Fat?
Visceral fat is extremely hard to lose fat located deep within the abdominal cavity, which surrounds the internal organs. Visceral fat is associated with serious health problems, such as increased blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, reduced HDL cholesterol and insulin resistance.
Before you stock up on orange juice, consider the 330 calories and 16 teaspoons of sugar you are consuming in 24 ounces of orange juice. Itâ€™s not exactly the first beverage choice among those trying to lose weight.
Instead you may want to consider getting your vitamin D from other foods. To get the same amount of vitamin D you could eat 3.5 ounces of salmon or mackerel or 4.5 ounces of tuna.
Getting that much calcium from food is more challenging. You would need to eat about 100 g of sesame seeds, 400 g of almonds or flax seeds or over 4 cups of dark leafy greens to get 1050 mg of calcium.
Many health care practitioners advise taking a vitamin D or calcium supplement to get optimal levels of vitamin D and calcium.
[box type=”note”]Dr. Joseph Mercola, a leading natural health expert recommends 5,000 IU daily of vitamin D for adults.[/box]
[box type=”note”]Dr. Oz, one of the most well-known cardiac surgeons currently practicing in the United States, suggests taking 600 mg of calcium, combined with 200 mg of magnesium, twice daily.[/box]
Adding these nutrients alone will not likely produce noticeable results. Healthy eating and regular physical activity are still the best way to lose weight and stay fit.
- PMID: 22170363
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