A study published in the open access journal has specified that eating yogurt may act as a preventative measure for type 2 diabetes. The research findings are based on an analysis of information on dairy food intake and health from over 195,000 health professionals over decades, during which time 15,000 participants developed type 2 diabetes.
Higher yogurt intake was associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes and the findings highlight the importance of including yogurt as part of a healthy diet.
The researchers caution that a clinical trial is needed to confirm the results but that the large sample size, high rates of follow up and repeated collection of data on diet, lifestyle and health in this study provide a good indicator of a preventative measure.
In their study analysis, Fran Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH, found no link between total dairy consumption and risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
The total consumption of individual dairy products whole and skimmed milk, cheese and yogurt was analyzed. They found high consumption of yogurt was linked to a lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes – even after accounting for age, BMI and other chronic disease risk factors. These findings were pooled with results of other studies published up to March 2013 that had also looked at links between dairy food consumption and type 2 diabetes. It was found that eating one serving of yogurt a day was linked to an 18% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Dairy consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: 3 cohorts of US adults and an updated meta- analysis, Mu Chen et al., BMC Medicine, published online 25 November 2014, doi:10.1186/s12916-014-0215-1.