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Dairy Foods May Ward off Metabolic Syndrome


Is Calcium the Key?

The American Heart Association estimates that more than 50 million Americans suffer from metabolic syndrome. Not everyone agrees on what "metabolic syndrome" is, but many experts agree that the presence of a combination of conditions, such as high blood pressure, excess abdominal fat, and elevated levels of blood glucose and triglycerides, can increase one's risk of developing the condition.

Can consuming dairy products help prevent the onset of metabolic syndrome? Yes, according to the findings of a new study, which suggests the more dairy products a person consumes, the less likely they are to develop metabolic syndrome.

Researchers analyzed the dietary habits of 827 adults in Iran, looking specifically at their daily consumption of dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and cheese. They also conducted waist and blood pressure measurements to see what percentage of the study population met different risk factors for metabolic syndrome. Individuals in the highest quartile (25%) of dairy intake were 31% less likely to meet the study's definition of metabolic syndrome, 37% less likely to have a large waist circumference, and 29% less likely to suffer from hypertension, compared to individuals with the lowest level of dairy consumption. Researchers believe the high calcium content in milk, cheese and yogurt may have accounted for the decreased risk.

Food Sources of Calcium
(All are ≥ 20% of AI for adults 19-50, which is 1,000 mg/day)
Food, Standard Amount Calcium (mg) Calories
Plain yogurt, non fat (8 oz container) 452 127
Romano cheese (1.5 oz) 452 165
Pasteurized process Swiss cheese (2 oz) 438 190
Plain yogurt, low fat (8 oz container) 415 143
Fruit yogurt, low fat (8 oz container) 345 232
Swiss cheese (1.5 oz) 336 162
Ricotta cheese, part skim (1/2 cup) 335 170
Pasteurized process American cheese food (2 oz) 323 188
Provolone cheese (1.5 oz) 321 150
Mozzarella cheese, part skim (1.5 oz) 311 129
Cheddar cheese (1.5 oz) 307 171
Fat-free (skim) milk (1 cup) 306 83
Muenster cheese (1.5 oz) 305 156
1% low-fat milk (1 cup) 290 102
1% low-fat chocolate milk (1 cup) 288 158
2% reduced-fat milk (1 cup) 285 122
2% reduced-fat chocolate milk (1 cup) 285 180
Buttermilk, low fat (1 cup) 284 98
Chocolate milk (1 cup) 280 208
Whole milk (1 cup) 276 146
Yogurt, plain, whole milk (8 oz container) 275 138
Ricotta cheese, whole milk (1/2 cup) 255 214
Blue cheese (1.5 oz) 225 150
Mozzarella cheese, whole milk (1.5 oz) 215 128
Feta cheese (1.5 oz) 210 113
Nutrient values from Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 17.


Sources

  1. Azadbakht L, Mirmiran P, Esmaillzadeh A, et al. Dairy consumption is inversely associated with the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in Tehranian adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 2005;82(3):523-530.
  2. USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005; Appendix B: Food Sources of Selected Nutrients (Appendix B-5: Food Sources of Calcium). www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/document/html/appendixB.htm.



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Date Last Modified - Wednesday, 17-Dec-2008 12:43:01 PDT