Send to

Choose Destination
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2016 May;41(5):516-21. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2015-0671. Epub 2016 Jan 13.

Higher milk fat content is associated with higher 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration in early childhood.

Author information

a Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Room 316, 150 College Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3E2, Canada.
b Department of Pediatrics, St. Michael's Hospital, 2nd Floor, 61 Queen Street East, Toronto, ON M5C 2T2, Canada.
c Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital, 209 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON M5B 1T8, Canada.
d Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children, Room 1436D, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5G 1X8, Canada.
e Division of Paediatric Medicine and the Paediatric Outcomes Research Team, The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5G 1X8, Canada.
f Child Health Evaluative Sciences, The Hospital for Sick Children, Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning, 11th floor, 686 Bay Street, Toronto, ON M5G 0A4, Canada.
g Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, 4th Floor, 155 College Street, Toronto, ON M5T 3M6, Canada.


Current guidelines for cow's milk consumption in children older than age 2 years suggest 1% or 2% milk to reduce the risk of obesity. Given that milk is the main dietary source of vitamin D for North American children and that vitamin D is fat soluble, we hypothesized 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration to be positively associated with the fat content of milk. The objective was to determine the relationship between the fat content of milk consumed and the serum 25(OH)D concentration; our secondary objective was to explore the role that the volume of milk consumed played in this relationship. We completed a cross-sectional study of children aged 12-72 months in the TARGetKids! research network. Multivariable linear regression was used to test the association between milk fat content and child 25(OH)D, adjusted for clinically relevant covariates. The interaction between volume of milk and fat content was examined. Two thousand eight hundred fifty-seven children were included in the analysis. The fat content of milk was positively associated with 25(OH)D (p = 0.03), and the interaction between the volume of milk consumed and the milk fat content was statistically significant (p = 0.005). Children who drank 1% milk needed 2.46 cups (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.38-2.54) of milk to have a 25(OH)D concentration similar to that of children who drank 1 cup of homogenized milk (3.25% fat). Children who consumed 1% milk had 2.05 (95% CI 1.73-2.42) times higher odds of having a 25(OH)D concentration <50 nmol/L compared with children who consumed homogenized milk. In conclusion, recommendations for children to drink lower-fat milk (1% or 2%) may compromise serum 25(OH)D levels and may require study to ensure optimal childhood health.


cow’s milk; epidemiology; fat; gras; lait de vache; nutrition; pediatrics; pédiatrie; vitamin D; vitamine D; épidémiologie

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center