Regardless of diet, researchers also found participants with the highest dairy calcium intake, equal to 12 oz. of milk or other dairy products (580 mg of dairy calcium), lost about 12 pounds (6 kg.) at the end of the two years.
In comparison, those with the lowest dairy calcium intake averaging about 150 mg dairy calcium, or about half of a glass, only lost seven pounds on average.
The study was published in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Beyond calcium, the researchers also found that blood levels of vitamin D independently affected weight loss success. Vitamin D levels increased among those who lost more weight.
The dietary intervention study also confirmed other research that overweight participants have lower blood levels of vitamin D.
More than 300 overweight men and women, aged 40 to 65, participated in the study evaluating low fat, Mediterranean or low-carb diets for two years.
This isn't the first study to report such findings, previous studies have also found a link between low fat dairy consumption and weight loss.
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