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Vitamin D and Protein from Dairy May Improve Physicality Later in Life

As we age, both body mass and physical performance decrease. A recent study suggests that supplemental protein from dairy products may increase body weight, while vitamin D may improve physical performance in mature adults.

For this analysis, researchers examined data from 36 trials that included a total of 4,947 participants who were age 55 or older. All of the studies were double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials where participants received dairy components or a placebo.

After examining the data, the researchers found that protein from dairy increased body weight by a mean difference of 2.7 lb. When the researchers looked specifically at less nourished and physically fit participants, they found that the body weight increase was higher.

The researchers used the Timed Up and Go trial to measure the effect of vitamin D supplementation on physical performance. They found that a mean difference of -0.75 was associated with vitamin D when compared with a placebo. However, the effect was more pronounced when vitamin D doses increased to between 400 and 1000 IU.

Researchers from Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands conducted the study. It was published in the January 2018 issue of Nutrition Research.

Dairy products are good sources of calcium, vitamin D, protein, potassium and vitamin A. Dairy consumption has been linked to bone health, diabetes prevention, weight loss, and improved mental function.

Previous studies have associated vitamin D with improved lipid profiles, help with certain allergies, skin protection, bone and blood sugar health and promoting cognitive function and eye health.

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