According to a study by American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Bone metabolism is known to change during pregnancy and postpartum as the body adapts “to increased nutrient requirements for fetal and infant skeletal formation,” the researchers wrote. Typically, mothers face transient bone loss of approximately 2% of whole-body bone mineral content during pregnancy due to mobilization of maternal bone minerals. Up to 6 months postpartum, “maternal skeletal mobilization occurs in association with lactation, resulting in a transient five to seven percent loss of bone mineral density at the lumbar spine,” the authors wrote. researchers.
Previous studies have looked at the effects of supplements like calcium or vitamin D, but less is known about how dairy consumption affects bone health during pregnancy and postpartum. Maude Perreault, Dt.P., PhD, a dietician and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Guelph, and her colleagues analyzed data from a randomized controlled trial to assess how a personalized nutrition and exercise intervention during pregnancy might impact calciotropic biomarker profiles and maternal bone during pregnancy and the postpartum period.
For the study, 187 participants were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive typical care or an individualized high-dairy protein diet and exercise plan, which began between 12 and 17 weeks of gestation and continued. are continued until delivery.
The goal for the exercise component of the intervention was to walk 10,000 steps per day, including four 40-minute walks each week. For the dietary component, a nutritionist worked with participants on their goals, helping them develop dietary plans and providing recipes. The goals included a target protein intake of 25%, 50% of which came from dairy products like milk, cottage cheese and yogurt.
In mid to late pregnancy, people in the intervention group consumed more total protein (P P P
When it comes to calcium, people in the intervention group consumed higher amounts in mid to late pregnancy (P
At the end of pregnancy, researchers found that participants in the intervention group had significantly lower serum C-terminal telopeptide of collagen type 1 (bone resorption). Additionally, these participants experienced a significant increase in serum concentrations of procollagen type 1N-terminal total propeptide (bone formation) from early pregnancy to 6 months postpartum.
The researchers reported that “the relative contribution of nutrition versus the walking exercise component of the intervention in modulating bone biomarker outcomes is not easily decipherable.”
This is partly because, throughout pregnancy, daily step counts were similar in the control and intervention groups, at around 4,800 to 6,300 steps per day. For this reason, the researchers wrote that the intervention “could be considered primarily a dietary intervention.”
“We can speculate that the higher protein and calcium intakes seen in the intervention group, supported by adequate vitamin D status, played a major role in suppressing bone resorption and promoting bone formation. “, wrote the researchers.
Although the exercise intervention was not significant, the researchers concluded that increasing maternal calcium and dietary protein intake maintained bone formation, minimized bone resorption, and “may protect bone health.” during pregnancy”.
“Our results demonstrated that personalized and monitored dairy-based nutrition and a prescribed walking exercise intervention during pregnancy that optimized dietary intakes of essential bone nutrients, particularly protein and calcium, resulted in reduced maternal bone resorption in late pregnancy compared with usual care with self-selected diets,” they wrote.