Overweight and obese young women who ate dairy and high protein foods improved their bone density in a new study.
The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism says that while the individual effects of dairy, calcium, protein and exercise on bones during weight loss have been studied in premenopausal women, no trial until now has combined all these strategies together into one study.
For the research, 90 premenopausal overweight or obese women were put on a diet with ‘modest’ calorie restriction and were asked to exercise. The scientists used scans to assess bone mineral density and content, and analysed participants' urine and blood samples to assess bone health.
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.
"Our data provide a good rationale to recommend consumption of dairy foods 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 bone mass is of great importance," said Stuart Phillips, PhD, of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.