The results of the calcium experiment are clear. "The answer is if you have a high calcium diet you [could] … double your fat excretion," Dr. Oz says. "You can actually get rid of twice as much of that fat if you have calcium, adequate amounts of calcium, at least a gram, in your diet. … What happens is the calcium meets up with the fat and it forms a soap. That soap gets pushed through your bowel."
Are you getting rid of the fat in your diet by getting enough calcium? For the answer, you're going to have to look in the toilet bowl. "You'll have poop that actually floats in there, which reflects the fact that you've been able to excrete fat and not reabsorb it through your intestinal tract," Dr. Oz says.
While the average American gets about 250 milligrams of calcium from non-dairy, non-fortified foods a day, they should be getting more like 1,200 milligrams. If you do that, you could get rid of as much as six and a half pounds of fat a year! Beyond that, calcium is also an important consideration for women as they age—it helps keep bones strong and staves off osteoporosis.
You can get calcium from dairy products, figs, prunes and leafy vegetables, but many people will only be able to get enough from supplements. If you do opt for supplements, take note—an influx of calcium can leave you constipated…unless you take it with magnesium. "Usually we recommend folks take about 1,200 milligrams of calcium and somewhere between 600 and 800 milligrams of magnesium," Dr. Oz says. "The combination actually allows you to be loose enough to go to the bathroom."