Effects of a dairy-rich diet on modulating biomarkers of inflammation in weight-stable overweight and obese adults

Open Access
Scoular, Katelyn Marie
Graduate Program:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
June 17, 2013
Committee Members:
  • Dr Sharon M Nickols Richardson, Thesis Advisor/Co-Advisor
  • dairy
  • milk
  • inflammation
  • overweight
  • obese
Excess adiposity is associated with persistent low-grade inflammation, which may contribute to the development of obesity comorbidities. Overweight and obesity alter the pattern of inflammatory adipokine and cytokine expression. Dairy has been proposed to help reduce inflammation in overweight and obese adults with low habitual dairy intake, although the mechanisms of this potential effect are unclear. Without weight loss, adequate dairy consumption of 3 servings/d may modulate inflammatory stress in the context of excess adiposity. The current study examined the effects of a dairy-rich diet (DRD) on modifying concentrations of biomarkers of inflammation in overweight and obese adults. This randomized, controlled, crossover design study added 3 nonfat dairy or non-dairy control (soy) smoothies per day for 30 days to the diets of weight-stable overweight and obese adults (n= 23), with a 30-day washout period before crossing over to the other diet treatment. Measurements and blood samples were collected at baseline, day 10, and day 30 of each treatment period. Body weight, body mass index, fat mass, and body fat % remained constant throughout the study. Blood concentrations of CRP, TNF-α, IL-6, adiponectin, leptin, and resistin did not vary with the dairy-rich diet treatment over time. However, treatment order effects were present for TNF-α, IL-6, adiponectin, and resistin. Meeting dairy intake recommendations did not impact measures of body weight and body fatness or biomarkers of inflammation, suggesting that dairy can be incorporated into a weight-maintaining diet for overweight and obese adults with a neutral effect on metabolic health.