Most of us know that calcium builds strong teeth and bones. Exciting new research has indicated that as calcium intake goes up body fat goes down.

Calcium helps reduce body fat in three ways:

* Calcium increases the amount of sympathetic nervous system (SNS) stimulation. Your SNS is part of your “fight or flight” response which usually speeds things up. Calcium intake can lead to an increase in metabolism.

* When calcium levels are high, fat cells are more able to release stored fat into the blood stream. Conversely, when calcium levels are low fat cells are more likely to be stored as fat.

* High calcium levels create a binding to fat resulting in a lower fat absorption. When less fat is absorbed more is excreted.

How much calcium is enough?

* Studies show that optimal weight loss occurs in individuals who consume around 1200 mg per day along with a low fat diet.

* You should attempt to get the minimum recommended 1000 mg per day from low or non fat dairy foods.

Some people take calcium supplements instead of getting their calcium from mother nature. While studies have shown that calcium supplementation aids in fat loss those who get their calcium from whole food sources get better results.

Calcium is already part of a healthy diet. Now there’s a greater incentive to get your full calcium quota. Calcium may not be the magic fat loss bullet we all hoped for. It can, however, increase metabolic rate and inhibit the physical systems responsible for absorbing and making fat.