Intake of Dairy Products, Calcium, Magnesium, and Phosphorus in Childhood and Age at Menarche in the Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study

Ramezani Tehrani, Fahimeh; Moslehi, Nazanin; Asghari, Golaleh; Gholami, Roya; Mirmiran, Parvin; Azizi, Fereidoun
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Purpose: Studies indicate that milk intake is associated with insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) concentrations and height in childhood, whether milk and other dairy products promote puberty remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate influences of pre-pubertal intakes of milk, yogurt and cheese on menarcheal age in Tehranian girls. The associations of total dietary calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and phosphorus (P) with menarcheal age were also examined. Methods: This prospective study was conducted on 134 pre-pubertal girls, aged 4-12 years at baseline, who participated in the Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study (TLGS), and were followed for a median of 6.5 years. Dietary intakes were determined at initiation of the study using two non-consecutive 24-h dietary recalls and the age of menarche was documented during the follow-up. Logistic regression was used to calculate the risk of reaching menarche ≤ 12 years according to pre-pubertal levels of dairy or mineral intakes. Results: The risk of earlier menarche was higher in girls with higher intakes of milk [OR: 2.28 (95% CI: 1.03–5.05)], Ca [OR: 3.20 (95%CI: 1.39–7.42)], Mg [OR: 2.43 (95% CI: 1.12–5.27)] and P [OR: 3.37 (95 % CI: 1.44–7.87) after controlling for energy and protein intake, interval between the age at study initiation and the age of menarche, and maternal age at menarche (Model 1). Girls in the middle tertile of cheese intakes had a lower risk of reaching menarche ≤ 12 years than those in the lowest tertile after controlling for covariates in model 1. These associations remained significant after further adjustment of BMI Z-score at baseline. The relationship of Ca, Mg, and P with menarche remained after further adjustment for height Z-score at baseline, whereas the association between milk and cheese intakes became non-significant. Conclusions: Pre-pubertal intake of milk, but not cheese and yogurt, may hasten age at menarche.


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