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Minerals, trace elements, Vit. D and bone health

Effect of a dairy- and calcium-rich diet on weight loss and appetite during energy restriction in overweight and obese adults: a randomized trial



A diet rich in dairy and calcium (Ca) has been variably associated with improvements in body composition and decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. Our objective was to determine if a dietary pattern high in dairy and Ca improves weight loss and subjective appetite to a greater extent than a low dairy/Ca diet during energy restriction in overweight and obese adults with metabolic syndrome.


A total of 49 participants were randomized to one of two treatment groups: Control (low dairy, 700 mg/day Ca, −500 kcal/day) or Dairy/Ca (high dairy, 1400 mg/day Ca, −500 kcal/day) for 12 weeks. Body composition, subjective ratings of appetite, food intake, plasma satiety hormones, glycemic response and inflammatory cytokines were measured.


Control (−2.2±0.5 kg) and Dairy/Ca (−3.3±0.6 kg) had similar weight loss. Based on self-reported energy intake, the percentage of expected weight loss achieved was higher with Dairy/Ca (82.1±19.4%) than Control (32.2±7.7%; P=0.03). Subjects in the Dairy/Ca group reported feeling more satisfied (P=0.01) and had lower dietary fat intake (P=0.02) over 12 weeks compared with Control. Compared with Control, Dairy/Ca had higher plasma levels of peptide tyrosine tyrosine (PYY, P=0.01) during the meal tolerance test at week 12. Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 was reduced at 30 min with Dairy/Ca compared with Control (P=0.04).


In conclusion, a dairy- and Ca-rich diet was not associated with greater weight loss than control. Modest increases in plasma PYY concentrations with increased dairy/Ca intake, however, may contribute to enhanced sensations of satisfaction and reduced dietary fat intake during energy restriction.

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We thank the participants for their role in this study and MC Hallam, DT Reid and J Tunnicliffe for assistance on test days. Special thanks to the dietitians at the Diabetes, Hypertension and Cholesterol Center for help with recruitment. This project has been funded in part by research grants from the Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (MOP 86460). KWJ was supported by an Obesity Training Grant from the University of Calgary. LKE was supported by NSERC and Canadian Diabetes Association graduate scholarships.

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Correspondence to R A Reimer.

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RAR previously held research funding from the Dairy Farmers of Canada for work distinct from this study. The remaining authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Contributors: RAR, ALE and PKDB designed research; KWJ and JAP conducted research; RAR and LKE analyzed data and wrote the paper; RAR had primary responsibility for final content. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Jones, K., Eller, L., Parnell, J. et al. Effect of a dairy- and calcium-rich diet on weight loss and appetite during energy restriction in overweight and obese adults: a randomized trial. Eur J Clin Nutr 67, 371–376 (2013).

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  • calcium
  • dairy
  • peptide YY
  • clinical trial
  • satiety

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