JENA, Germany–Calcium phosphate supplementation may beneficially influence cholesterol metabolism, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition (135:1678-1682, 2005). Researchers conducted a double blind, placebo-controlled crossover study 31 young healthy volunteers. Test subjects were supplemented with pentacalcium hydroxy-triphosphate supplementation (CaP; 1 g elemental calcium) incorporated into bread.
After four weeks of supplementation, individuals administered CaP had lower serum cholesterol than test subjects who received placebo. In addition, individuals given CaP had lower serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and tended to have a lower ratio of LDL cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Fat and cholesterol intakes as well as fecal fat excretion did not differ between groups in the two test periods. Although analysis of fecal samples showed no difference in the excretion of total neutral sterols (sum of cholesterol and its transformation products) during the CaP period, cholesterol excretion increased, whereas the excretion of the metabolite coprostanol decreased during this period. Bile acid excretion also increased during the CaP period compared with the placebo period.
The researchers concluded the observed beneficial effects on cholesterol metabolism are not the result of an increased excretion of cholesterol, but might be explained by an increased bile acid excretion and a subsequent regeneration of bile acids from endogenous cholesterol in the liver.