Drinking milk can double weight loss, research finds.
Milk contains both calcium and vitamin D, which have both been linked to weight loss in multiple studies.
Over six months, people drinking more milk lost almost twice as much weight.
Those losing the most weight consumed around 580 mg of calcium each day.
This is contained in roughly two glasses of milk.
Although the people in the study were also dieting, the results showed that it was milk intake that made the difference.
The study included 322 people who were put on a low-fat low-carb or Mediterranean diet.
However, the results showed that the diet was not linked to weight loss.
Instead, what mattered for weight loss was their milk intake.
Milk drinkers lost an average of 12 pounds, while those who drank little milke lost only 7 pounds.
The study’s authors write:
“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.”
It is thought that calcium deficiency encourages the brain to increase food intake to get more of the essential mineral.
Studies have also shown that people who are calcium deficient have more body fat, larger waistlines and higher levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL).
The authors explain:
“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.”
Around half of all obese people are calcium deficient.
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).