Associations of Milk Consumption and Vitamin B2 and Β12 Derived from Milk with Fitness, Anthropometric and Biochemical Indices in Children. The Healthy Growth Study Academic Article uri icon


  • The benefits of dairy consumption seem to extend beyond its significant contribution to ensuring nutrient intake adequacy as indicated by the favourable associations with several health outcomes reported by different studies. The aims of the present study were to examine the associations of milk consumption with fitness, anthropometric and biochemical indices in children and further explore whether the observed associations are attributed to vitamins B₂ and B12 derived from milk. A representative subsample of 600 children aged 9-13 years participating in the Healthy Growth Study was examined. Data were collected on children's dietary intake, using 24 h recalls, as well as on fitness, anthropometric and biochemical indices. Regression analyses were performed for investigating the research hypothesis, adjusting for potential confounders and for B-vitamin status indices (i.e., plasma riboflavin, methylmalonic acid and total homocysteine concentrations), dietary calcium intake and plasma zinc concentrations that could possibly act as effect modifiers. Milk consumption was positively associated with the number of stages performed in the endurance run test (ERT) (β = 0.10; p = 0.017) and negatively with body mass index (BMI) (β = -0.10; p = 0.014), after adjusting for several potential confounders and effect modifiers. Dietary intakes of vitamin B₂ and B12 derived from milk were also positively associated with the number of ERT stages (β = 0.10; p = 0.015 and β = 0.10; p = 0.014 respectively). In conclusion, higher intake of milk as well as vitamin B₂ and B12 derived from milk were independently associated with higher cardiorespiratory fitness in Greek preadolescents. The key roles of these B-vitamins in substrate oxidation, energy production, haemoglobin synthesis and erythropoiesis could provide a basis for interpreting these associations. However, further research is needed to confirm this potential interpretation.


  • Moschonis, George
  • van den Heuvel, Ellen
  • Mavrogianni, Christina
  • Singh-Povel, Cécile
  • Leotsinidis, Michalis
  • Manios, Yannis

publication date

  • 2016