Diets Higher in Dairy Foods and Dietary Protein Support Bone Health During Diet- And Exercise-Induced Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese Premenopausal Women

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Jan;97(1):251-60. doi: 10.1210/jc.2011-2165. Epub 2011 Nov 2.


Context: Consolidation and maintenance of peak bone mass in young adulthood may be compromised by inactivity, low dietary calcium, and diet-induced weight loss.

Objective: We aimed to determine whether higher intakes of dairy foods, dietary calcium, and protein during diet- and exercise-induced weight loss affected markers of bone health.

Participants: Participants included premenopausal overweight and obese women.

Design/intervention: Ninety participants were randomized into three groups (n = 30 per group): high protein and high dairy (HPHD), adequate protein and medium dairy (APMD), and adequate protein and low dairy (APLD), differing in dietary protein (30, 15, or 15% of energy, respectively), dairy foods (15, 7.5, or <2% of energy from protein, respectively), and dietary calcium (∼1600, ∼1000, or <500 mg/d, respectively).

Outcome measures: Serum and urine bone turnover biomarkers, serum osteoprotegerin (OPG), receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL), PTH, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, leptin, and adiponectin measured at 0 and 16 wk.

Results: All groups lost equivalent body weight (P < 0.05). N-telopeptide, C-telopeptide (CTX), urinary deoxypyridinoline, and osteocalcin increased in APLD (P < 0.01), whereas in HPHD, osteocalcin and procollagen 1 amino-terminal propeptide (P1NP) increased (P < 0.05), and all resorption markers remained unchanged. P1NP to CTX and OPG to RANKL ratios increased in HPHD (P < 0.005), and P1NP to CTX ratio decreased in APLD (P < 0.05). PTH decreased in HPHD and APMD vs. APLD (P < 0.005), and 25-hydroxyvitamin D increased in HPHD (P < 0.05), remained unchanged in APMD, and decreased in APLD (P < 0.05). Leptin decreased and adiponectin increased in APMD and HPHD only (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Hypoenergetic diets higher in dairy foods, dietary calcium, and protein with daily exercise, favorably affected important bone health biomarkers vs. diets with less of these bone-supporting nutrients.

Trial registration: NCT00710398.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects*
  • Bone and Bones / physiology
  • Dairy Products*
  • Diet, Reducing*
  • Dietary Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Health
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Overweight / diet therapy
  • Overweight / therapy*
  • Premenopause* / drug effects
  • Premenopause* / physiology
  • Weight Loss / drug effects
  • Weight Loss / physiology
  • Young Adult


  • Dietary Proteins

Associated data