Dairy foods may improve bone health during diet and exercise in overweight premenopausal women

November 9, 2011

A recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) found that consumption of dairy foods and higher protein resulted in improvements in markers of bone formation and reductions in markers of bone degradation in overweight and obese young women over 16 weeks of diet- and exercise-induced weight loss.

Previous studies have shown that higher body weight is associated with greater bone mass and that through dieting can adversely affect . While the individual effects of dairy, calcium, protein and exercise on bone during weight loss have been studied in premenopausal women, no trial until now has combined all these strategies together into one study to support bone health.

"Our findings show that a diet with a high proportion of dairy foods and higher than recommended protein intake was associated with improved markers for bone health," said Stuart Phillips, PhD, of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and senior author of the study. "Thus, to avoid deleterious consequences to their bone health, women who are attempting weight loss through dieting should practice consumption of more protein from dairy sources."

In this study, researchers conducted a controlled randomized weight loss intervention trial involving 90 premenopausal overweight or obese women which was designed to achieve weight loss and be supportive of bone health. Phillips and his colleagues employed modest dietary calorie restriction and daily exercise including aerobic and resistance training with varied intakes of protein and dairy foods. Researchers used dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans to assess bone mineral density and content, and analyzed participants' urine and blood samples to evaluate serum levels of several bone health biomarkers.

Results from the study showed that the consumption of diets higher in protein with an emphasis on dairy foods during a diet and exercise period, positively affected markers of bone turnover, calcium, vitamin D status and bone metabolism in overweight and obese premenopausal women.

"Our data provide a good rationale to recommend consumption of to aid in high quality weight loss, which we define as loss of fat as opposed to muscle, and the promotion of bone health in young women who are at the age when achieving and maintaining peak mass is of great importance," said Phillips.

Explore further: Foods rich in protein, dairy products help dieters preserve muscle and lose belly fat: study

More information: The article, "Diets higher in dairy foods and dietary protein support bone health during diet- and exercise-induced weight loss in overweight and obese premenopausal women," appears in the January 2012 issue of JCEM.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

A metabolic master switch underlying human obesity

August 19, 2015

Obesity is one of the biggest public health challenges of the 21st century. Affecting more than 500 million people worldwide, obesity costs at least $200 billion each year in the United States alone, and contributes to potentially ...

Scientists probe obesity's ties to breast cancer risk

August 20, 2015

Obesity is a well-known risk factor for breast cancer, but researchers haven't figured out what connects the two. A new study suggests the link may be due to a change in breast tissue structure, which might promote breast ...

Can a new drug brown the fat and trim the obese person?

May 28, 2015

New research has found that a variant of a drug used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension prompts weight loss in obese mice. Among mice fed a high-fat diet, those who did not get the medication became obese while medicated ...

Changing stem cell structure may help fight obesity

February 17, 2015

The research, conducted at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), found that a slight regulation in the length of primary cilia, small hair-like projections found on most cells, prevented the production of fat cells from ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.