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Calcium Pyruvate for Weight Loss

By Erin Beck

Calcium pyruvate is a popular supplement and weight-loss aid. When the body metabolizes glucose, it creates pyruvate. High-intensity anaerobic exercise converts pyruvate into lactate. In study published in "Nutrition," researchers gave some participants in an exercise program 6 grams daily of calcium pyruvate a day. The participants who took the supplement lost more weight and fat than other participants in the program.


Getting more calcium may prevent weight gain at midlife, according to a 2002 study published by Robert P. Heaney and colleagues in the "Journal of the American College of Nutrition." Foods with calcium may be more likely to help you lose weight than supplements, but supplements may still be beneficial, according to a 2004 study conducted by Michael B. Zemel and colleagues and published in "Obesity Research." However, some research conflicts with these results, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Exercise Effects

In a 2005 study in "Nutrition," found that calcium pyruvate supplementation did not significantly affect body weight, fat or exercise performance. Two groups of females participated in a supervised exercise program. One group took calcium pyruvate, and one group took a placebo. While the group given calcium pyruvate gained less weight and lost more fat, the difference between the two groups was so slight that it was statistically insignificant.

Diet Considerations

When combined with a calorie-restricted diet, pyruvate may increase weight loss. In a "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" study, obese women followed a severe calorie-restricted diet. Researcher found that those who took pyruvate lost more weight and fat.

Effective Dose

The effect of calcium pyruvate may be dependent on the dose, and if you're dieting when you take it. In the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" study, participants who took 30 grams of pyruvate, 16 grams of which was calcium pyruvate, were on restricted diets. Pyruvate accounted for 13 percent of the participants' diets. In the study published in "Nutrition," which did not find significant effects for pyruvate, participants maintained their normal diets and took 5 grams of calcium pyruvate twice a day.

Costs and Side Effects

Pyruvate usually comes in 500 to 1,000 milligram capsules, so you'd have to take dozens of capsules to see a result, costing you about $15 to $20 a day. Additionally, you may experience diarrhea and some stomach upset, according to Columbia University. Meanwhile, the upper limit for calcium is only 2.5 grams a day. Exceeding this amount can lead to confusion, delirium, coma and even death. Check the amount of calcium in your calcium pyruvate supplement and be careful not to exceed the upper limit.

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