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Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 May;81(5):1168-75.

Effects of school milk intervention on cortical bone accretion and indicators relevant to bone metabolism in Chinese girls aged 10-12 y in Beijing.

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  • 1Faculty of Veterinary Science and the School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia. kathyz@vetsci.usyd.edu.au



We previously reported that increased milk consumption enhances growth and bone mineral accretion in Chinese girls aged 10-12 y.


Our objective was to evaluate the effects of milk supplementation on cortical bone accretion and to study the physiologic mechanisms underlying the observed changes in bone.


Chinese girls aged 10 y were randomly assigned into calcium-fortified milk (Ca milk), calcium and vitamin D-fortified milk (CaD milk), and control groups according to their schools in a 24-mo school milk intervention trial. Periosteal and medullary diameters of metacarpal bone were measured at baseline and 24 mo in the Ca milk (n = 177), CaD milk (n = 210), and control (n = 219) groups. Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), parathyroid hormone (PTH), bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP), osteocalcin, and deoxypyridinoline concentrations were measured at baseline and at 12 and 24 mo in the Ca milk (n = 43), CaD milk (n = 44), and control (n = 41) groups.


After adjustment for pubertal status and clustering by school, 24-mo supplementation led to greater increases in periosteal diameter (1.2%) and cortical thickness (5.7%) and to smaller gains in medullary diameter (6.7%) than did the control (P < 0.05). The CaD milk group had lower serum BAP at 12 mo (19.9%) and lower serum PTH at 12 (46.2%) and 24 (16.4%) mo than did the control group (P < 0.05). The effect of milk supplementation on increasing IGF-I concentrations at 24 mo (16.7-23.3%) was significant in individual analyses but not after adjustment for clustering by school.


Milk supplementation showed positive effects on periosteal and endosteal apposition of cortical bone.

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