is a natural event when a woman stops menstruating and there is a gradual
reduction in the production of estrogen and progesterone by her ovaries. This
decline of the female sex hormones causes hot flashes, mood swings and night
(MetS) is a
cluster of conditions, which occur together such as high blood pressure, elevated
blood sugar level, abdominal obesity and elevated cholesterol levels, which
increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
hypothesized that milk consumption could have significant beneficial effects on
the cardiometabolic factors associated with MetS, based on data from several
prospective cohort studies which have shown that dairy and milk consumption was
associated with a lower prevalence of MetS.
was conducted to investigate the effect of consumption of milk in postmenopausal
women with abdominal obesity, who suffered from MetS. The results of the study
were published in Nutrition Journal
In this study, cardiometabolic risk factors, which are associated with MetS
such as glucose homeostasis, blood lipids, cholesterol homeostasis, blood
pressure etc., were evaluated.
overweight postmenopausal women participated in the randomized crossover design
study. They consumed two diets based on the National Cholesterol Education Program
(NCEP) for a period of six weeks. The first one was the "MILK" diet, in which 20% of daily calories came from partly skimmed milk (2% fat
milk), corresponding to 3.2 servings of milk per 2000 kcal. The second one was a
"milk-free" diet i.e., without milk or other dairy was based on "NCEP" control
The macronutrient composition of both diets was comparable (55%
carbohydrates, 15% proteins, 30% fat and 10% saturated fat). Participants
were asked to eat all the food and only the food that was provided to them.
They were instructed to report all the food items eaten on a daily reminder
sheet and report any deviations from the diet. The scientists reported greater
than 98% of compliance by the participants to the diet.
At the end of six weeks of
study, it was seen that the "MILK" diet significantly reduced plasma HDL-C
levels but had no impact on plasma total and LDL-C levels so that the
total/HDL-C ratio was increased significantly compared with baseline values. It
was observed that both the "MILK" diet and "NCEP" diet had no effect on plasma
CRP, however both treatments reduced plasma adiponectin in a similar way.
Plasma endothelin concentrations were reported to be decreased significantly
and similarly during both treatments.
The "MILK" diet reportedly had no significant effect on triglycerides,
LDL size and cell adhesion molecule concentrations and on indicators of insulin
sensitivity. Both the diets reduced plasma fasting
glucose levels in a similar way as compared with diet-specific baseline values.
There was no significant difference reported in any other markers of glucose
homeostasis or any insulin sensitivity indices between the two diets.
It was observed that the "MILK"
diet reduced blood pressure, however the changes were comparable to those seen
with the "NCEP" diet. "MILK" diet was also reported to be associated with lower
VLDL apolipoprotein B fractional catabolic
and plasma sterol concentrations
as compared to the control "NCEP" diet.
The data from this
controlled-feeding study suggests that short-term consumption of 2% fat milk in
the context of a low fat prudent "NCEP" diet has neither favorable nor
deleterious effects on a wide spectrum of cardiometabolic risk factors
associated with MetS in postmenopausal women with abdominal obesity.
Further studies are
warranted to conclusively prove as to why milk or dairy consumption in
epidemiological studies is generally associated with reduced risk of MetS, CHD
as well as type 2 diabetes.