Milk intake exerts no immediate effect on heart health in postmenopausal women

28 Nov 2021
Milk intake exerts no immediate effect on heart health in postmenopausal women

For postmenopausal women, drinking milk appears to be neither harmful nor beneficial in terms of cardiovascular health, despite increased levels of ionized calcium, according to a study.

The crossover study included 20 women (mean age 69.4 years) who underwent two interventions, one of which was an intake of 500 ml of water with 200 µg of cholecalciferol and the other was of 500 ml of semi-skimmed milk containing approximately 600 mg of calcium with 200 µg of cholecalciferol. The two interventions were conducted on separate days and with at least 10 days of washout in between.

Researchers measured parathyroid hormone and ionized calcium at baseline and after 2 and 4 hours on each intervention day. Cardiovascular health was assessed using pulse wave analysis and velocity at baseline and after 4 hours on each intervention day.

Compared with water, milk intake led to a significant increase in ionized calcium levels (0.02 mmol/L; p=0.029) and reduction in parathyroid hormone levels (–1.78 pmol/L; p<0.001).

However, the two interventions had a null effect, as measured 4 hours after each intervention, on the following indices of cardiovascular health: pulse wave velocity, brachial diastolic or systolic blood pressure, central diastolic or systolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, pulse pressure, augmentation pressure, augmentation index, heart rate, or pulse transit time.

The present data indicate that milk ingestion appears to have no acute impact on the cardiovascular physiology.

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