Milk drinkers lose weight at double the rate, research finds.
Adding two-thirds of a glass of milk per day increases weight loss by 10 pounds, on average, over six months, the scientists discovered.
Drinking more milk every day helps increase calcium and vitamin D levels.
Both calcium and vitamin D have been linked to greater weight loss.
The study involved 322 overweight people following a low-fat Mediterranean or low-carb diet for two years.
The diet made little difference — what mattered was their calcium and vitamin D levels.
The results showed that milk drinkers lost 12 pounds, on average, in the first six months.
They consumed an average of 580 mg of calcium per day, which is contained in two glasses of milk.
The study’s authors write:
“The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans include a recommendation for 3 cups (720 mL) of milk per day, an amount that was shown to be beneficial for weight loss in our study.”
In comparison, those that drank little milk (around half a glass) only lost 7 pounds.
The authors explain:
“In summary, our findings suggest that both higher consumption of dairy calcium and increased serum vitamin D are independently associated with successful weight loss.
The causal relation between these factors needs further clarification.”
Around half the world’s general population is deficient in vitamin D.
From October to March many people in northern climes do not get enough vitamin D.
The authors write:
“Vitamin D increases calcium absorption into the bloodstream.
It is obtained by sun exposure, from food (mainly fish liver oils, fatty fish, and eggs), fortified foods (such as milk, yogurt, margarine, oil spreads, and breakfast cereal), and supplements.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Shahar et al., 2010).