A three-month randomized trial tested the effect of calorie restriction and two amounts of dairy calcium intake: high (~1,400 mg/day) and low (~800 mg/day) from nonfat/low-fat dairy foods on weight, body composition and leptin (hormone regulating food intake) levels in 56 overweight/obese post-menopausal women. While weight loss, body mass index and total body fat was significantly reduced in both groups, the high dairy calcium group had a significant reduction in trunk fat that was not seen in the lower dairy calcium group. In addition, the lower dairy calcium group had a significant increase in both blood glucose and insulin resistance over time. Improvements that the authors describe as “clinically important” were seen in glucose, insulin and leptin concentrations in the higher dairy calcium group.

According to the authors, this study is the first to explore weight loss and hormone response to dairy calcium in overweight/obese post-menopausal women. These results contribute to the increasing body of knowledge supporting the role for dairy foods in metabolic health.

Fakhrawi DH, Lammi-Keefe CJ, Beeson WL, Darnell TA, Cordero-MacIntyre ZR. Dairy calcium decreases adiposity, plasma leptin, and glucose in obese postmenopausal women. Nutr Res. [Epub ahead of print]. 2013 May 20.