In a new study, it was found that regardless of diet, 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, conducted by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers, was published in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The study reveals that dieters who consumed milk or milk products lost more weight on average than those who consumed little to no milk products, according to a BGU press release.

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. Dr. Danit Shahar led the study. According to Dr. Shahar, “It was known that over-weight people had lower levels of serum vitamin D but this is the first study that actually shows that serum Vitamin D increased among people who lost weight.

This result lasted throughout the two years that the study was conducted, regardless of whether they were on a low-carb, low fat or Mediterranean diet.”

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