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Consumption of low-fat dairy foods for 6 months improves insulin resistance without adversely affecting lipids or bodyweight in healthy adults: a randomized free-living cross-over study

Todd C Rideout1*, Christopher P F Marinangeli2, Heather Martin2, Richard W Browne3 and Curtis B Rempel2*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, 14214, USA

2 The Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2, Canada

3 Biotechnical and Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, 14214, USA

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Citation and License

Nutrition Journal 2013, 12:56  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-56

Published: 2 May 2013



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.


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.


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.


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

Trial registration: NCT01761955

Dairy; Glucose; Insulin; Lipids; Bodyweight