Dairy and weight loss hypothesis: an evaluation of the clinical trials

Nutr Rev. 2008 May;66(5):272-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2008.00032.x.


This review evaluates evidence from clinical trials that assessed the effect of dairy product or calcium intake, with or without concomitant energy restriction, on body weight and adiposity. Of 49 randomized trials assessing the effect of dairy products or calcium supplementation on body weight, 41 showed no effect, two demonstrated weight gain, one showed a lower rate of gain, and five showed weight loss. Four of 24 trials report differential fat loss. Consequently, the majority of the current evidence from clinical trials does not support the hypothesis that calcium or dairy consumption aids in weight or fat loss.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Body Composition / drug effects*
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Calcium, Dietary / pharmacology
  • Dairy Products*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Weight Loss* / drug effects
  • Weight Loss* / physiology


  • Calcium, Dietary