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Nutrition. 2012 Mar;28(3):331-5. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2011.07.022. Epub 2011 Nov 25.

Skim milk powder enhances trabecular bone architecture compared with casein or whey in diet-induced obese rats.

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Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.



We previously showed that skim milk powder (SMP) prevents weight gain more so than casein or whey alone. Dairy foods and changes in body mass can affect bone architecture; therefore, our objective was to examine the effect of dairy proteins on bone structure in the tibia of dietary-induced obese rats.


Twelve-week-old diet-induced obese Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized to one of six diets that varied in protein source (casein, whey, or SMP), Ca level (0.67% or 2.4%), and energy density (high-fat/high-sucrose [HFHS], or normal energy density [NE]). After 8 wk, body composition was assessed via dual energy x-ray absorptiometry and trabecular and cortical bone parameters of the tibia were assessed using micro-computed tomography and mixed model analysis.


Rats fed SMP with 2.4% calcium had significantly lower body mass and fat mass than all other groups. The ratio of bone volume to total volume (BV/TV) was significantly higher when the HFHS diet was supplemented with SMP and 2.4% calcium compared with whey (+66.7%) or casein (+32.6%). The HFHS diet group had 49.3% greater BV/TV compared with the NE groups. Increasing the amount of calcium resulted in a significant increase in BV/TV (188.9%) in the HFHS diet groups but not in the NE groups.


The intake of skim milk powder supplemented with calcium enhances trabecular bone architecture in obese rats consuming HFHS diet to a greater extent than with either casein or whey protein alone. Bioactive ingredients in complete dairy may contribute to these effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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