MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shivani Sahni, PhD Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Director, Nutrition Program
Associate Scientist, Musculoskeletal Research
Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife,
Boston MA 02131-1097
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Previous studies have shown that higher milk intake is associated with higher bone mineral density. In one of our previous studies, we reported that higher dairy food intake was protective against bone loss especially among older adults who used vitamin D supplements. Older adults are at high risk of vitamin D deficiency because recommended intakes are difficult to achieve without fortified foods (such as dairy) or supplements. Vitamin D stimulates calcium absorption, which is beneficial for building bones. However, it is unclear if the effect of vitamin D on calcium absorption is substantial enough to translate into beneficial effects on bone.
Therefore, the current study determined the association of dairy food intake with bone health. We further examined whether these associations would be modified by vitamin D status.
Jorge E. Chavarro, MD, ScD
Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Channing Division of Network Medicine
Department of Medicine
Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA 02115
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: It is well known that sugared sweetened beverages (SSBs) promote excessive weight gain and obesity in children. The excess sugars in chocolate milk and other flavored milks puts them in a category that may be closer to sugared sweetened beverages than to plain milk. However, data on whether flavored milks promote weight gain is scarce.
We followed a cohort of 5,321 children and adolescents over a four year period to evaluate whether intake of chocolate milks was related to weight gain. We found that children who increased their intake of flavored milk gained more weight than children whose intake of flavored milk remained stable over this period. Moreover, among those children who did not drink any chocolate milk at baseline, those who started drinking chocolate milk over the course of the study gained substantially more weight than children who remained non-consumers of chocolate milk.
Bo (Bonnie) Qin, Ph.D.
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ 08903
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancer in the US. African-American patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer tend to have a worse 5-year survival rate compared to their European-American patients. Therefore, identifying preventive factors in African-Americans women is particularly important.
African Americans tend to consume less calcium and vitamin D from dietary sources, due to a higher prevalence of lactose intolerance, and supplemental intake. Meanwhile, darker color of the skin reduces the synthesis of vitamin D upon sun exposure. They together place African-American women at risk for calcium and vitamin D deficiency. It remains unknown whether calcium, vitamin D, lactose and dairy products are associated with ovarian cancer risk in African-American women and our study aimed to answer this question.
MedicalResearch.com: Interview with: Jonathon Maguire MD MSc FRCPC
Pediatrician and Scientist Department of Pediatrics
Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute
St. Michael’s Hospital University of Toronto
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Maguire:One of the main health benefits of cow’s milk is vitamin D. We were interested to know if non-cow’s milk supports children’s vitamin D blood levels as well as cow’s milk. Continue reading →