Background: Given the highly debated role of dairy food consumption in modulating biomarkers of metabolic syndrome, this study was conducted to examine the influence of long-term (6 month) dairy consumption on metabolic parameters in healthy volunteers under free-living conditions without energy restriction.
Methods: Twenty-three healthy subjects completed a randomized, crossover trial of 12 months. Participants consumed their habitual diets and were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups: a high dairy supplemented group instructed to consume 4 servings of dairy per day (HD); or a low dairy supplemented group limited to no more than 2 servings of dairy per day (LD). Baseline, midpoint, and endpoint metabolic responses were examined.
Results: Endpoint measurements of body weight and composition, energy expenditure, blood pressure, blood glucose, and blood lipid and lipoprotein responses did not differ (p > 0.05) between the LD and HD groups. HD consumption improved (p < 0.05) plasma insulin (-9%) and insulin resistance (-11%, p = 0.03) as estimated by HOMA-IR compared with the LD group.
Conclusions: Study results suggest that high dairy consumption (4 servings/d) may improve insulin resistance without negatively impacting bodyweight or lipid status under free-living conditions.
Trial registration: Clinical Trials.gov: NCT01761955.