OBJECTIVE: The main goal of the present study was to evaluate the effect of a commercially available milk containing small amounts of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, oleic acid, and vitamins A, B6, D, E, and folic acid compared with semi-skimmed and skimmed milk in volunteers with moderate cardiovascular risk.

METHODS: Two hundred ninety-seven subjects 25 to 65 y of age with moderate cardiovascular risk were randomly allocated into three groups. In addition to their diets, one group consumed 500 mL/d of the enriched milk, another group consumed 500 mL/d of skimmed milk, and a control group consumed 500 mL/d of semi-skimmed milk. All groups consumed the dairy drinks for 1 y and blood samples were taken at 0 and 12 mo.

RESULTS: Consumption of enriched milk for 1 y produced significant (P < 0.05) increases in serum folate (58%) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (4%). Plasma triacylglycerols (10%), total cholesterol (4%), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (6%) were reduced significantly only in the supplemented group. Serum glucose, homocysteine, and C-reactive protein remained unchanged. In the skimmed milk and semi-skimmed milk groups, the only significant decreases were in serum folate (17% and 11%, respectively).

CONCLUSION: Daily intake of a milk enriched with fish oil, oleic acid, and vitamins improved the nutritional status and cardiovascular risk markers of volunteers, whereas skimmed milk and semi-skimmed milk did not.