Daily Intake of Milk Enriched with n-3 Fatty Acids, Oleic Acid, and Calcium Improves Metabolic and Bone Biomarkers in Postmenopausal Women

J Am Coll Nutr. 2016 Aug;35(6):529-536. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2014.1003114. Epub 2016 Jul 27.


Objective: Nutritional strategies can be effective for the prevention of menopause-related diseases, such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Our aim was to evaluate the effects of a dairy product enriched in polyunsaturated fatty acids, calcium, oleic acid, and vitamins on cardiovascular markers and bone metabolism in postmenopausal women with moderate cardiovascular risk.

Methods: One hundred seventeen healthy postmenopausal women (aged 45 ± 7.7 years) were allocated to 2 groups: the intervention group (IG; n = 63), who consumed 0.5 L/day of a low-lactose skimmed milk enriched with 40 mg/100 mL of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) + docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), 0.54 g/100 mL oleic acid, and vitamins, and the control group (CG; n = 54), who consumed 0.5 L/day of semiskimmed milk 0.5 L/day enriched with vitamins A and D.

Results: After 12 months, in the IG there was an improvement in lipid profile: a -5.78% decrease in total cholesterol (p = 0.010), -9.79% (p = 0.004) in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, -9.56% (p < 0.001) in total cholesterol (TC)/high-density lipoprotein (HDL) ratio, and -3.38% in LDL/HDL ratio (p < 0.001). No changes were observed in the CG. In the IG we observed a decrease of -28.20% in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP; p = 0.012). There was no effect on bone turnover markers or serum osteoprotegerin (OPG) in either of the study groups. In the IG, receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL) was reduced -17.64% (p = 0.003), with no effect in the CG.

Conclusion: In postmenopausal women with moderate cardiovascular risk, dietary supplementation with a dairy drink enriched with fatty acids (EPA+DHA), oleic acid, minerals, and vitamins induces a positive effect on cardiovascular risk and parameters of bone metabolism. Its regular consumption may be a useful nutritional support for postmenopausal women.

Keywords: bone biomarkers; n-3 fatty acids; postmenopausal women.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Bone Remodeling / physiology
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Food, Fortified
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Milk / chemistry*
  • Oleic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Osteoprotegerin / blood
  • Postmenopause*
  • Risk Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Lipids
  • Osteoprotegerin
  • Oleic Acid
  • C-Reactive Protein