Cardiovascular health

Dairy calcium reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome


A new study among young adults in Brazil found that a greater dairy consumption is associated with a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Calcium seems to be a key indicator in this matter.

Many studies have reported an inverse association between dairy products and the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome, however the relationship was not clearly established and the mechanisms were not understood. This study assessed the consumption of milk products in 2031 young adults (23-25 years) using a food frequency questionnaire. Two classifications evaluated the incidence of metabolic syndrome: The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the Joint Interim Statement (JIS).

The impact of calcium

The results indicate that for the group with the highest consumption of milk products, the risk of metabolic syndrome was lower compared to the group with the lowest consumption: 39% according to the IDF criteria and 38% following the JIS criteria. Interestingly, this association lost significance when the data is adjusted for calcium, suggesting that calcium plays a major role (without being exclusively responsible) in the inverse association between dairy products and metabolic syndrome.

Source: Marylla LB et al. Nutrition 2015, Volume 31, Issue 5, Pages 716–721.

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