Skip to main content Accessibility help

Recommended dairy product intake modulates circulating fatty acid profile in healthy adults: a multi-centre cross-over study

  • Mohammad M. H. Abdullah (a1) (a2), Audrey Cyr (a3), Marie-Claude Lépine (a3), Marie-Ève Labonté (a3), Patrick Couture (a3), Peter J. H. Jones (a1) (a2) and Benoît Lamarche (a3)...


Dairy products are rich sources of an array of fatty acids (FA) that have been shown individually and in certain clusters to exert varying effects on cardiovascular health, for which the circulating lipid profile is a powerful biomarker. Whether the profile of these FA is reflected in blood upon short terms of intake, possibly contributing to the lipid-related health impacts of dairy products, remains to be fully established. The objectives of the present study were to assess a recommended dairy product consumption in relation to circulating FA and lipid profiles, and to evaluate certain FA in dairy fat as potential biomarkers of intake. In a free-living, multi-centre, cross-over design, 124 healthy individuals consumed 3 servings/d of commercial dairy (DAIRY; 1 % fat milk, 1·5 % fat yogurt and 34 % fat cheese) or energy-equivalent control (CONTROL; fruit and vegetable juice, cashews and a cookie) products for 4 weeks each, separated by a 4-week washout period. Plasma FA and serum lipid profiles were assessed by standard methods at the end of each dietary phase. After 4 weeks of intake, plasma levels of FA pentadecanoic acid (15 : 0) and heptadecanoic acid (17 : 0) were higher (0·26 v. 0·22 % and 0·42 v. 0·39 % of the total identified FA, respectively) after the DAIRY phase than after the CONTROL phase (P< 0·0001). This was accompanied by a small but significant increase in serum LDL-cholesterol levels after the DAIRY phase compared with the CONTROL phase (+0·08 mmol/l; P= 0·04). In conclusion, intake of 3 servings/d of conventional dairy products may modify certain circulating FA and lipid profiles within 4 weeks, where 15 : 0 and 17 : 0 may be potential short-term biomarkers of intake.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Recommended dairy product intake modulates circulating fatty acid profile in healthy adults: a multi-centre cross-over study
      Available formats

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Recommended dairy product intake modulates circulating fatty acid profile in healthy adults: a multi-centre cross-over study
      Available formats

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Recommended dairy product intake modulates circulating fatty acid profile in healthy adults: a multi-centre cross-over study
      Available formats


Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Dr B. Lamarche, fax +1 418 656 5877, email


Hide All
1 Health Canada (2007) Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide (HC Pub. 4651). Ottawa: Queen's Printer.
2 United States Department of Agriculture (2010) Dietary guidelines for Americans. (accessed February 2014).
3 Pereira, MA, Jacobs, DR Jr, Van Horn, L, et al. (2002) Dairy consumption, obesity, and the insulin resistance syndrome in young adults: the CARDIA Study. JAMA 287, 20812089.
4 Mirmiran, P, Esmaillzadeh, A & Azizi, F (2005) Dairy consumption and body mass index: an inverse relationship. Int J Obes (Lond) 29, 115121.
5 Azadbakht, L, Mirmiran, P, Esmaillzadeh, A, et al. (2005) Dairy consumption is inversely associated with the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in Tehranian adults. Am J Clin Nutr 82, 523530.
6 Elwood, PC, Strain, JJ, Robson, PJ, et al. (2005) Milk consumption, stroke, and heart attack risk: evidence from the Caerphilly cohort of older men. J Epidemiol Community Health 59, 502505.
7 Snijder, MB, van Dam, RM, Stehouwer, CD, et al. (2008) A prospective study of dairy consumption in relation to changes in metabolic risk factors: the Hoorn Study. Obesity (Silver Spring) 16, 706709.
8 Wennersberg, MH, Smedman, A, Turpeinen, AM, et al. (2009) Dairy products and metabolic effects in overweight men and women: results from a 6-mo intervention study. Am J Clin Nutr 90, 960968.
9 Rideout, TC, Marinangeli, CP, Martin, H, et al. (2013) Consumption of low-fat dairy foods for 6 months improves insulin resistance without adversely affecting lipids or bodyweight in healthy adults: a randomized free-living cross-over study. Nutr J 12, 56.
10 Crichton, GE, Howe, PR, Buckley, JD, et al. (2012) Dairy consumption and cardiometabolic health: outcomes of a 12-month crossover trial. Nutr Metab (Lond) 9, 19.
11 Jensen, RG (2002) The composition of bovine milk lipids: January 1995 to December 2000. J Dairy Sci 85, 295350.
12 Hunter, JE, Zhang, J & Kris-Etherton, PM (2010) Cardiovascular disease risk of dietary stearic acid compared with trans, other saturated, and unsaturated fatty acids: a systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr 91, 4663.
13 St-Onge, MP & Bosarge, A (2008) Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil. Am J Clin Nutr 87, 621626.
14 Nosaka, N, Maki, H, Suzuki, Y, et al. (2003) Effects of margarine containing medium-chain triacylglycerols on body fat reduction in humans. J Atheroscler Thromb 10, 290298.
15 Chowdhury, R, Warnakula, S, Kunutsor, S, et al. (2014) Association of dietary, circulating, and supplement fatty acids with coronary risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med 160, 398406.
16 Kris-Etherton, PM, Pearson, TA, Wan, Y, et al. (1999) High-monounsaturated fatty acid diets lower both plasma cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr 70, 10091015.
17 Teres, S, Barcelo-Coblijn, G, Benet, M, et al. (2008) Oleic acid content is responsible for the reduction in blood pressure induced by olive oil. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 105, 1381113816.
18 Smedman, AE, Gustafsson, IB, Berglund, LG, et al. (1999) Pentadecanoic acid in serum as a marker for intake of milk fat: relations between intake of milk fat and metabolic risk factors. Am J Clin Nutr 69, 2229.
19 Wolk, A, Vessby, B, Ljung, H, et al. (1998) Evaluation of a biological marker of dairy fat intake. Am J Clin Nutr 68, 291295.
20 Wolk, A, Furuheim, M & Vessby, B (2001) Fatty acid composition of adipose tissue and serum lipids are valid biological markers of dairy fat intake in men. J Nutr 131, 828833.
21 Mozaffarian, D, Cao, H, King, IB, et al. (2010) trans-Palmitoleic acid, metabolic risk factors, and new-onset diabetes in U.S. adults: a cohort study. Ann Intern Med 153, 790799.
22 Biong, AS, Veierod, MB, Ringstad, J, et al. (2006) Intake of milk fat, reflected in adipose tissue fatty acids and risk of myocardial infarction: a case–control study. Eur J Clin Nutr 60, 236244.
23 Sun, Q, Ma, J, Campos, H, et al. (2007) Plasma and erythrocyte biomarkers of dairy fat intake and risk of ischemic heart disease. Am J Clin Nutr 86, 929937.
24 Warensjo, E, Jansson, JH, Cederholm, T, et al. (2010) Biomarkers of milk fat and the risk of myocardial infarction in men and women: a prospective, matched case–control study. Am J Clin Nutr 92, 194202.
25 Mozaffarian, D, de Oliveira Otto, MC, Lemaitre, RN, et al. (2013) trans-Palmitoleic acid, other dairy fat biomarkers, and incident diabetes: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Am J Clin Nutr 97, 854861.
26 Mozaffarian, D, Cao, H, King, IB, et al. (2010) Circulating palmitoleic acid and risk of metabolic abnormalities and new-onset diabetes. Am J Clin Nutr 92, 13501358.
27 Labonte, ME, Cyr, A, Abdullah, MM, et al. (2014) Dairy product consumption has no impact on biomarkers of inflammation among men and women with low-grade systemic inflammation. J Nutr 144, 17601767.
28 Ridker, PM, Rifai, N, Rose, L, et al. (2002) Comparison of C-reactive protein and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in the prediction of first cardiovascular events. N Engl J Med 347, 15571565.
29 Labonte, ME, Cyr, A, Baril-Gravel, L, et al. (2012) Validity and reproducibility of a web-based, self-administered food frequency questionnaire. Eur J Clin Nutr 66, 166173.
30 Bertrand, KA, Giovannucci, E, Liu, Y, et al. (2012) Determinants of plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D and development of prediction models in three US cohorts. Br J Nutr 108, 18891896.
31 Callaway, CW, Chumlea, WC, Bouchard, C, et al. (1988) Standardization of anthropometric measurements. In The Airlie (VA) Consensus Conference, pp. 3980 [Lohman, T, Roche, A and Martorel, R, editors]. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers.
32 Couillard, C, Despres, JP, Lamarche, B, et al. (2001) Effects of endurance exercise training on plasma HDL cholesterol levels depend on levels of triglycerides: evidence from men of the Health, Risk Factors, Exercise Training and Genetics (HERITAGE) Family Study. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 21, 12261232.
33 Pirro, M, Bergeron, J, Dagenais, GR, et al. (2001) Age and duration of follow-up as modulators of the risk for ischemic heart disease associated with high plasma C-reactive protein levels in men. Arch Intern Med 161, 24742480.
34 Friedewald, WT, Levy, RI & Fredrickson, DS (1972) Estimation of the concentration of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in plasma, without use of the preparative ultracentrifuge. Clin Chem 18, 499502.
35 D'Agostino RB, S, Vasan, RS, Pencina, MJ, et al. (2008) General cardiovascular risk profile for use in primary care: the Framingham Heart Study. Circulation 117, 743753.
36 Folch, J, Lees, M & Sloane Stanley, GH (1957) A simple method for the isolation and purification of total lipides from animal tissues. J Biol Chem 226, 497509.
37 O'Sullivan, TA, Hafekost, K, Mitrou, F, et al. (2013) Food sources of saturated fat and the association with mortality: a meta-analysis. Am J Public Health 103, e31e42.
38 de Oliveira Otto, MC, Nettleton, JA, Lemaitre, RN, et al. (2013) Biomarkers of dairy fatty acids and risk of cardiovascular disease in the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis. J Am Heart Assoc 2, e000092.
39 Brevik, A, Veierod, MB, Drevon, CA, et al. (2005) Evaluation of the odd fatty acids 15 : 0 and 17 : 0 in serum and adipose tissue as markers of intake of milk and dairy fat. Eur J Clin Nutr 59, 14171422.
40 Wennberg, M, Vessby, B & Johansson, I (2009) Evaluation of relative intake of fatty acids according to the Northern Sweden FFQ with fatty acid levels in erythrocyte membranes as biomarkers. Public Health Nutr 12, 14771484.
41 Thiebaut, AC, Rotival, M, Gauthier, E, et al. (2009) Correlation between serum phospholipid fatty acids and dietary intakes assessed a few years earlier. Nutr Cancer 61, 500509.
42 Wu, Z & Palmquist, DL (1991) Synthesis and biohydrogenation of fatty acids by ruminal microorganisms in vitro . J Dairy Sci 74, 30353046.
43 Warensjo, E, Nolan, D & Tapsell, L (2010) Dairy food consumption and obesity-related chronic disease. Adv Food Nutr Res 59, 141.
44 Nakamura, MT & Nara, TY (2004) Structure, function, and dietary regulation of Δ6, Δ5, and Δ9 desaturases. Annu Rev Nutr 24, 345376.
45 Health Canada (2010) Canadian nutrient file, 2010 version. (accessed March 2014).
46 Jaudszus, A, Kramer, R, Pfeuffer, M, et al. (2014) trans-Palmitoleic acid arises endogenously from dietary vaccenic acid. Am J Clin Nutr 99, 431435.
47 Zlatanos, SN, Laskaridis, K & Sagredos, A (2008) Conjugated linoleic acid content of human plasma. Lipids Health Dis 7, 34.
48 Papamandjaris, AA, MacDougall, DE & Jones, PJ (1998) Medium chain fatty acid metabolism and energy expenditure: obesity treatment implications. Life Sci 62, 12031215.
49 Alexandrou, E, Herzberg, GR & White, MD (2007) High-level medium-chain triglyceride feeding and energy expenditure in normal-weight women. Can J Physiol Pharmacol 85, 507513.
50 St-Onge, MP, Bourque, C, Jones, PJ, et al. (2003) Medium- versus long-chain triglycerides for 27 days increases fat oxidation and energy expenditure without resulting in changes in body composition in overweight women. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 27, 95102.
51 St-Onge, MP & Jones, PJ (2003) Greater rise in fat oxidation with medium-chain triglyceride consumption relative to long-chain triglyceride is associated with lower initial body weight and greater loss of subcutaneous adipose tissue. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 27, 15651571.
52 Mukuddem-Petersen, J, Stonehouse Oosthuizen, W, Jerling, JC, et al. (2007) Effects of a high walnut and high cashew nut diet on selected markers of the metabolic syndrome: a controlled feeding trial. Br J Nutr 97, 11441153.
53 Sabate, J, Oda, K & Ros, E (2010) Nut consumption and blood lipid levels: a pooled analysis of 25 intervention trials. Arch Intern Med 170, 821827.
54 Cohen, J (1988) Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences, 2nd ed. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Earlbaum Associates.
55 Da Silva, MS & Rudkowska, I (2014) Dairy products on metabolic health: current research and clinical implications. Maturitas 77, 221228.
56 Elwood, PC, Pickering, JE, Hughes, J, et al. (2004) Milk drinking, ischaemic heart disease and ischaemic stroke II. Evidence from cohort studies. Eur J Clin Nutr 58, 718724.
57 Elwood, PC, Givens, DI, Beswick, AD, et al. (2008) The survival advantage of milk and dairy consumption: an overview of evidence from cohort studies of vascular diseases, diabetes and cancer. J Am Coll Nutr 27, Suppl. 6, 723S734S.
58 Elwood, PC, Pickering, JE, Givens, DI, et al. (2010) The consumption of milk and dairy foods and the incidence of vascular disease and diabetes: an overview of the evidence. Lipids 45, 925939.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed