European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 771–778 | Cite as

Low-fat dairy, but not whole-/high-fat dairy, consumption is related with higher serum adiponectin levels in apparently healthy adults

  • Kaijun Niu
  • Yoritoshi Kobayashi
  • Lei Guan
  • Haruki Monma
  • Hui Guo
  • Yufei Cui
  • Atsushi Otomo
  • Masahiko Chujo
  • Ryoichi Nagatomi
Original Contribution



Although previous studies suggested that higher low-fat dairy consumption lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, the mediating factors are not well understood. Higher baseline adiponectin levels are related with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. This study evaluated whether low-fat dairy is related with adiponectin in apparently healthy adults.


We investigated a cross-sectional (n = 938) and one-year longitudinal (n = 759) relationship between low-fat and whole-/high-fat dairy (both including cow’s milk and yogurt) and adiponectin. Dairy consumption was assessed with a validated food frequency questionnaire. Serum adiponectin was measured by using a specific sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.


In the cross-sectional analysis, the geometric means (95 % confidence intervals [95 % CIs]) of log-transformed adiponectin related with the low-fat dairy categories were 7.27 (6.80–7.77) for the lowest category, 7.67 (7.09–8.31) for the middle category, and 8.40 (7.73–9.13) for the highest category (p < 0.001) after adjustment for potential confounders (including all lifestyle factors). In the longitudinal analysis, repeated-measures ANCOVA adjusted for confounding factors showed a significant time-by-categories (categories of low-fat dairy) interaction in the change of adiponectin. In contrast, no significant relationship was found between the whole-/high-fat dairy categories and adiponectin.


This study has shown that higher consumption of low-fat dairy, but not of whole-/high-fat dairy, is related with higher levels of adiponectin and with the change of adiponectin level at the one-year follow-up. These results suggest that the consumption of low-fat dairy may have a beneficial effect on serum adiponectin levels.


Low-fat dairy Adiponectin Diabetes risk factors Insulin resistance 



We gratefully acknowledge all the men and women who participated in the study and Sendai Oroshisho Center for the possibility to perform the study. This study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for “Knowledge Cluster Initiative” from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.

Conflict of interest

All the authors have no conflicts of interest exists to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaijun Niu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yoritoshi Kobayashi
    • 2
  • Lei Guan
    • 2
  • Haruki Monma
    • 2
  • Hui Guo
    • 2
  • Yufei Cui
    • 2
  • Atsushi Otomo
    • 2
  • Masahiko Chujo
    • 2
  • Ryoichi Nagatomi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologySchool of Public Health, Tianjin Medical UniversityTianjinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Division of Biomedical Engineering for Health and WelfareTohoku University Graduate School of Biomedical EngineeringSendaiJapan

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