Consumption of nonfat milk results in a less atherogenic lipoprotein profile: a pilot study

Ann Nutr Metab. 2012;61(2):111-6. doi: 10.1159/000339261.


Background: An increase in plasma low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is a well-known risk factor in the development of atherosclerosis. Dairy consumption may lower the risk of atherosclerosis; however, studies on the effects of milk on cardiovascular risk factors are still scarce. We were interested in investigating whether the intake of milk improves the atherogenic lipoprotein profile.

Aims: We investigated the effects of consuming whole or nonfat milk on plasma lipoprotein composition in healthy Japanese subjects as a pilot study.

Methods: Normolipidemic subjects consumed 500 ml of whole milk (whole milk group; n=7) or nonfat milk (nonfat milk group; n=7) every day for 2 weeks.

Results: The consumption of nonfat milk resulted in a lowering of plasma triglyceride (TG) and phospholipid levels and TG level in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and increased the plasma apolipoprotein (apo) C-III level. In addition, the TG/cholesterol ratios in HDL and LDL were significantly decreased, and LDL particles became larger. In contrast, the only changes observed following whole milk consumption were increases in the plasma levels of apoC-III and apoE.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that consumption of nonfat milk, but not whole milk, may result in a less atherogenic lipoprotein profile, and that the constituents of nonfat milk may improve lipid metabolism.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Apolipoprotein C-III / blood
  • Apolipoproteins E / blood
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Atherosclerosis / blood*
  • Atherosclerosis / prevention & control
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Milk / chemistry*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Risk Factors
  • Triglycerides
  • Young Adult


  • Apolipoprotein C-III
  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Triglycerides