The effect of dairy products on weight loss. Part 1

13 October
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In recent years, there has been a skeptical attitude of the population towards milk and dairy products. From various sources, information is persistently presented that their consumption is supposedly harmful to health. As a result, we see a sharp increase in the market for the number of plant-based drinks, for example, from soy, rice, almonds or oats, which are offered as “milk substitutes”. However, from a nutritional point of view, cow’s milk and plant-based drinks are completely different products, and additional studies in humans are needed to make an informed conclusion about the health benefits of plant-based drinks. As for the harmfulness of the “milk”, the official opinion of medical science, based on the criteria of evidence-based medicine, requiring rigorous proof of any statements, does not at all coincide with what is being circulated in pseudoscientific circles. But today we are not talking about the effect on health in general, but about what is associated with body weight, in particular, one of the common myths about the negative impact of dairy products on the process of losing weight. Does “milk” interfere with weight loss?

In science, incl. medical, the source of information of the highest degree of reliability is a systematic review and meta-analysis, which are the aggregate data of many randomized trials. A step below is a separate randomized controlled trial (RCT), during which experimental data are obtained. By the way, and the observations and opinions of experts, if they do not rely on the above sources of information, have a lower degree of reliability. So, not a single meta-analysis or even a single RCT shows the negative effect of the use of "milk" on the process of losing weight. It is either neutral or positive (although I would not overestimate this positivity). As an example, I give some excerpts from thematic reviews:

“The Effect of Dairy Product Consumption on Adult Weight and Body Composition”: an updated meta-analysis of 37 RCTs from 1966 to 2017, data analysis of 184,302 participants. CONCLUSIONS: The beneficial effect of the consumption of dairy products on reducing weight and improving body composition in diets with limited calories has been established.

“The consumption of dairy products increases changes in body weight and improves composition during limited energy intake in adults aged 18-50 years. A meta-analysis of 27 RCTs published before March 2016. CONCLUSIONS: Consumption of dairy products (from 2 to 4 standard servings per day) increases body weight loss and improves its composition (lower muscle loss / large fat loss) with Energy-restricted diets in 18–50-year-old adults compared to low-dairy diets. However, no statistical difference was recorded in an individual's training with weights.

“The Effect of Dairy Product Consumption on Adult Weight and Body Composition”: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 14 RCTs from 1960 to 2011. CONCLUSIONS: The inclusion of dairy products in a low-calorie diet significantly affects the reduction in body fat mass, maintaining muscle mass in comparison with conventional diets aimed at weight loss.

“Milk and dairy products: good or bad for human health? Assessment of the totality of scientific data. ” 2016 Systematic Review CONCLUSIONS: Recent evidence suggests that milk and MP intake are associated with a reduced risk of childhood obesity. In adults, MP intake demonstrates improved body composition and easier weight loss during periods of energy restriction.

Can I use dairy products before bedtime?

To an educated person, such a question will most likely seem strange and incomprehensible than caused. However, most are not able to critically evaluate information related to human physiology, since they do not have basic knowledge in this area. As a result, quite frank heresy was taken for the truth, about the fact that before going to bed, you should avoid using sources of milk protein casein, which is mainly found in cottage cheese and cheese. They say its insulinotropic effect blocks weight loss at night (for some reason, during the day). Of course, absolutely no evidence for this is presented, or rather they are replaced by theoretical reasoning and verbiage. In order not to go deep into the dry description of physiological processes, I will say in simple terms: the only reason why the use of any food product can interfere with weight loss is their elimination of energy deficiency. No deficiency, no reduction in fat reserves. And we will turn to research again.

To be continued in the next part...