Association of calcium and dairy product consumption with childhood obesity and the presence of a Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor-Antisense (BDNF-AS) polymorphism

Clin Nutr. 2019 Dec;38(6):2616-2622. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2018.11.005. Epub 2018 Nov 20.


Background & aims: Calcium and dairy products have multiple health benefits. The objective of this work was to evaluate the association between calcium/dairy intake, blood pressure, the BDNF-AS rs925946 polymorphism and nutritional status in a group of schoolchildren.

Methods: As part of the GENYAL study to childhood obesity prevention, 221 children belonging to different areas of the Community of Madrid were enrolled. Anthropometric and dietary data were collected, and children were genotyped according to the rs925946 polymorphism. Adjusted logistic and linear models were used to describe the data.

Results: A significantly lower consumption of calcium in overweight versus normal weight children was observed (811.0 ± 174.1; 859.0 ± 195.9; 954.0 ± 223.1 mg; for obesity, overweight and normal weight, respectively, p = 0.010). Moreover, an inverse association between blood pressures and calcium intake was detected (β = -0.006 (-0.011, -3e-4)), p = 0.040. The number of dairy servings/day showed a protective effect against overweight (OR = 0.48 (0.29, 0.75), p = 0.001). Finally, common homozygous children (GG) showed an inverse association between the calcium intake and the BMI (β = -0.003 (-0.006, -0.001), p = 0.004), which was not observed in children carrying the T allele (β = -1.3e-4 (-0.0022, 0.0024), p = 0.93).

Conclusion: Calcium and dairy were strongly associated with the nutritional status and blood pressure. The identification of differential effects of calcium/dairy consumption on the nutritional status according to genetics may contribute to the personalization of future nutritional advice.

Trial registration: This study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.govNCT03419520.

Keywords: Child nutrition science; Dairy products; Dietary calcium; Nutritional genomics; Pediatric obesity; Single nucleotide polymorphism.

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / genetics*
  • Calcium, Dietary / analysis*
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dairy Products / statistics & numerical data*
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pediatric Obesity* / epidemiology
  • Pediatric Obesity* / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • RNA, Antisense / genetics*


  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • Calcium, Dietary
  • RNA, Antisense
  • BDNF protein, human

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