A pinboard by
Joanna K Hodges

Post-Doc, Purdue University


I examine the cardiovascular and bone health in response to drinking milk or dairy-free alternatives

The proportion of elderly in the U.S. is fast increasing as is the cost of age-associated diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Plant-derived milk alternatives are gaining popularity as a food-based approach to prevent these conditions, yet their effect on cardiovascular and bone health is largely unknown. Dairy foods have been previously shown to mitigate the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. The purpose of my research project is to compare cow’s milk (fat-free and whole) to a wide range of commercially available plant-based beverages (soy, rice, almond, and coconut drinks) in terms of their effect on calcium absorption and vascular function in adults with metabolic syndrome. In order to quantify calcium absorption, I will use stable isotopes of calcium as calcium labels and measure their appearance in plasma after beverage consumption. To asses vascular function, I will measure the response of small blood vessels in the skin a mild heat stimulus applied 2 hours after the absorption of milk proteins. My research hypothesis is that I will observe a relatively higher calcium absorption and a greater skin vascular response in participants consuming dairy milk compared with plant-based beverages. The knowledge gained from this project will help educate the consumers about the value of milk substitutes in prevention of chronic diseases.


Milk and dairy consumption and risk of cardiovascular diseases and all-cause mortality: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.

Abstract: With a growing number of prospective cohort studies, an updated dose-response meta-analysis of milk and dairy products with all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease (CHD) or cardiovascular disease (CVD) have been conducted. PubMed, Embase and Scopus were searched for articles published up to September 2016. Random-effect meta-analyses with summarised dose-response data were performed for total (high-fat/low-fat) dairy, milk, fermented dairy, cheese and yogurt. Non-linear associations were investigated using the spine models and heterogeneity by subgroup analyses. A total of 29 cohort studies were available for meta-analysis, with 938,465 participants and 93,158 mortality, 28,419 CHD and 25,416 CVD cases. No associations were found for total (high-fat/low-fat) dairy, and milk with the health outcomes of mortality, CHD or CVD. Inverse associations were found between total fermented dairy (included sour milk products, cheese or yogurt; per 20 g/day) with mortality (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.97-0.99; I(2) = 94.4%) and CVD risk (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.97-0.99; I(2) = 87.5%). Further analyses of individual fermented dairy of cheese and yogurt showed cheese to have a 2% lower risk of CVD (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.95-1.00; I(2) = 82.6%) per 10 g/day, but not yogurt. All of these marginally inverse associations of totally fermented dairy and cheese were attenuated in sensitivity analyses by removing one large Swedish study. This meta-analysis combining data from 29 prospective cohort studies demonstrated neutral associations between dairy products and cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. For future studies it is important to investigate in more detail how dairy products can be replaced by other foods.

Pub.: 05 Apr '17, Pinned: 09 Nov '17

Calcium intake and osteoporosis: the influence of calcium intake from dairy products on hip bone mineral density and fracture incidence - a population-based study in women over 55 years of age.

Abstract: The incidence of osteoporosis increases with age and is most frequently observed in postmenopausal women. The objective of the present population-based cohort study was to assess the influence of Ca intake from dairy sources on hip bone mineral density and hip fracture incidence in a group of Polish women over 55 years of age.The main outcome measures included: bone mineral density, the number of previous fractures and the reported Ca intake from dairy sources, assessed by a diet questionnaire.The RAC-OST-POL Study was conducted in the District of Raciborz in the south of Poland.The study was carried out in a group of 625 women, randomly recruited from the general population of women aged >55 years.Median Ca intake from dairy products was lower in the group of women with femoral neck T-score ≤-2·5 than in the group with T-score >-2·5 (275 v. 383 mg/d; P = 0·0019). For total hip score, the difference was close to borderline significance (P = 0·0698). Median Ca intake from dairy products was lower in the group of women with previous fractures than in those without fracture history (336 v. 395 mg/d; P = 0·0254). The main dairy source of Ca in the analysed group included milk drinks, rennet cheese and milk.Higher dairy Ca intake is recommended, since a number of the women analysed were unable to satisfy their Ca requirement exclusively from their diet.

Pub.: 12 Dec '12, Pinned: 09 Nov '17

Dairy products, dietary calcium and bone health: possibility of prevention of osteoporosis in women: the Polish experience.

Abstract: The objective of the study was to analyze the consumption of dairy products and dietary calcium by women in the context of bone mineral density and to assess opportunities to prevent osteoporosis in a dietary manner. The study was carried out with 712 Polish women. In 170 women aged 32 to 59 bone mineral density (BMD) was measured. The data on the consumption of dairy products and dietary calcium and some other osteoporosis risk factors was collected from 712 women. The average calcium intake from a diet was 507 mg/day. Only 2% of the women met Polish calcium intake recommendations. During adulthood, dairy product consumption or dietary calcium intake did not differ significantly between women with low BMD (below -1 SD) and women with regular BMD (≥-1 SD) (47.4 vs. 44.3 servings/week and 459 vs. 510 mg/day, respectively, p > 0.05). The odds ratios adjusted for age, menstruation and BMI in women with upper BMD tercile in comparison to the reference group (bottom tercile) was 2.73 (95% CI: 1.14, 6.55; p < 0.05) for the daily consumption of dairy products during the pre-school period and 2.40 (95% CI: 1.01, 5.70; p < 0.05) for the daily consumption of dairy products during the school period. Two clusters of women were established. In the S1 cluster, low BMD (below -1 SD) was associated with older age (≥ 50 years), lack of menstrual cycle. In the S2 cluster, regular BMD (≥-1 SD) was related to younger aged women (<50 years), presence of menstrual cycle, consumption of higher level of dairy products (≥28 servings/week) during adulthood and daily intake of dairy products during childhood and adolescence. The results indicate that good bone health to the larg e extent depended upon the combined impact of dietary factors and some non-modifiable risk factors of osteoporosis such as age and the presence of menstruation. Consumption of dairy products in childhood and adolescence may improve bone mineral density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis in adult women.

Pub.: 19 Jul '13, Pinned: 09 Nov '17

The effect of locally delivered recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 with hydroxyapatite/tri-calcium phosphate on the biomechanical properties of bone in diabetes-related osteoporosis.

Abstract: Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) is particularly effective in improving osteogenesis in patients with diminished bone healing capabilities, such as individuals with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) who have impaired bone healing capabilities and increased risk of developing osteoporosis. This study measured the effects of rhBMP-2 treatment on osteogenesis by observing the dose-dependent effect of localized delivery of rhBMP-2 on biomechanical parameters of bone using a hydroxyapatite/tri-calcium phosphate (HA/TCP) carrier in a T1DM-related osteoporosis animal model.Two different doses of rhBMP-2 (LD low dose, HD high dose) with a HA/TCP carrier were injected into the femoral intramedullary canal of rats with T1DM-related osteoporosis. Two more diabetic rat groups were injected with saline alone and with HA/TCP carrier alone. Radiographs and micro-computed tomography were utilized for qualitative assessment of bone mineral density (BMD). Biomechanical testing occurred at 4- and 8-week time points; parameters tested included torque to failure, torsional rigidity, shear stress, and shear modulus.At the 4-week time point, the LD and HD groups both exhibited significantly higher BMD than controls; at the 8-week time point, the HD group exhibited significantly higher BMD than controls. Biomechanical testing revealed dose-dependent, higher trends in all parameters tested at the 4- and 8-week time points, with minimal significant differences.Groups treated with rhBMP-2 demonstrated improved bone mineral density at both 4 and 8 weeks compared to control saline groups, in addition to strong trends towards improvement of intrinsic and extrinsic biomechanical properties when compared to control groups. Data revealed trends toward dose-dependent increases in peak torque, torsional rigidity, shear stress, and shear modulus 4 weeks after rhBMP-2 treatment.Not applicable.

Pub.: 26 Nov '14, Pinned: 09 Nov '17

Lack of Evidence Linking Calcium With or Without Vitamin D Supplementation to Cardiovascular Disease in Generally Healthy Adults: A Clinical Guideline From the National Osteoporosis Foundation and the American Society for Preventive Cardiology.

Abstract: Calcium is the dominant mineral present in bone and a shortfall nutrient in the American diet. Supplements have been recommended for persons who do not consume adequate calcium from their diet as a standard strategy for the prevention of osteoporosis and related fractures. Whether calcium with or without vitamin D supplementation is beneficial or detrimental to vascular health is not known.The National Osteoporosis Foundation and American Society for Preventive Cardiology convened an expert panel to evaluate the effects of dietary and supplemental calcium on cardiovascular disease based on the existing peer-reviewed scientific literature. The panel considered the findings of the accompanying updated evidence report provided by an independent evidence review team at Tufts University.The National Osteoporosis Foundation and American Society for Preventive Cardiology adopt the position that there is moderate-quality evidence (B level) that calcium with or without vitamin D intake from food or supplements has no relationship (beneficial or harmful) to the risk for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, mortality, or all-cause mortality in generally healthy adults at this time. In light of the evidence available to date, calcium intake from food and supplements that does not exceed the tolerable upper level of intake (defined by the National Academy of Medicine as 2000 to 2500 mg/d) should be considered safe from a cardiovascular standpoint.

Pub.: 25 Oct '16, Pinned: 09 Nov '17