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High intake of milk, but not meat, decreases bone turnover in prepubertal boys after 7 days



To compare the short-term effect of a high milk and a high meat intake, identical in protein amount, on bone turnover during prepuberty.


A University Department.

Design and Subjects:

From 28, randomly recruited, 8-year-old boys, first 14 were assigned to the milk group and next 14 to the meat group. In each group, 12 boys finished the dietary intervention.


Milk (1.5 l/day) and meat (250 g/d), both containing 53 g of protein, were given together with the habitual diet for 7 days. At baseline and day−7, serum osteocalcin (s-OC), bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (s-BAP) and C-terminal telopeptides of type I collagen (s-CTX) were measured (immunoassay) and dietary intake was estimated (a 3-day weighted food record).


Baseline s-OC, s-BAP and s-CTX were not significantly different between the groups. After 7 days, the average protein intake increased in both groups by 47.5 g; the milk group had higher (P<0.0001) calcium intake; s-OC and s-CTX decreased (P0.04) in the milk group (−30.9%; −18.7%, respectively) compared with the meat group (+6.4%; −1.0%, respectively) and s-BAP decreased (P=0.06) both in the milk (−3.9%) and the meat group (−7.5%).


At the equal protein intake, milk, but not meat, decreased bone turnover in prepubertal boys after 7 days. This effect was probably due to some milk-derived compounds, rather than to the total protein intake. Future studies should elucidate the mechanism(s) of milk-related decline of bone turnover and its relevance for peak bone mass during growth.


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We thank all the children for participating in the project; bio-technicians: VJ Anker, SA Jensen and HL Petersen for their assistance with the analyses of serum samples; and T Mark for valuable discussions.

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Correspondence to A Z Budek.

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Guarantor: AZ Budek.

Contributors: AZB performed biochemical measurements of markers for bone turnover, conducted the statistical analyses and prepared the manuscript in collaboration with CH, KFM and CM. No author had a financial or personal conflict of interest related to this project.

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Budek, A., Hoppe, C., Michaelsen, K. et al. High intake of milk, but not meat, decreases bone turnover in prepubertal boys after 7 days. Eur J Clin Nutr 61, 957–962 (2007).

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  • bone turnover
  • milk
  • meat
  • protein
  • prepuberty
  • boys

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