The effect of UHT-processed dairy milk on cardio-metabolic risk factors

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Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES:

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains a major cause of death worldwide. Whereas dairy generally is associated with a neutral or a beneficial CVD effect, the consumption of ultra-high temperature (UHT)-treated milk has been reported to increase levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in an uncontrolled study. Our aim was to examine whether semi-skimmed UHT dairy milk increases the risk of CVD development compared with pasteurized (PAST) dairy milk in overweight healthy adults.

SUBJECTS/METHODS:

Nineteen healthy men and women participated in a randomized, controlled, crossover study. The effect of intake of 1.5 l of UHT dairy milk or PAST milk, similar in nutritional content, was examined as a supplement to the participant’s habitual diet for 21 days in each intervention period. Intake of other dairy products was not allowed during the intervention period. Clinical evaluation and blood samples took place preintervention and postintervention.

RESULTS:

There was no significant effect by type of milk on LDL-C (P = 0.29). No effects of type of milk were observed in other blood lipid levels, such as total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or triglycerides. No effects of type of milk were found for blood pressure, insulin, glucose concentration and insulin resistance (homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance) or body weight.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study does not support the hypothesis that UHT processing of milk increases the risk of CVD.

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