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Yogurt 'cuts type 2 diabetes risk'

Published on 06 February 2014 02:00 PM

People can lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by eating yogurt, new research suggests.

Regular consumption of yogurt is associated with a 28% reduced risk of developing the condition, according to a study in the latest edition of the journal Diabetologia, published by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.


The study of more than 4,000 people also found that there was a health benefit from eating other low-fat fermented dairy foods, such as fromage frais and cottage cheese.

Type 2 diabetes is a growing problem among older people

Taken together, the researchers discovered that they reduced the chances of becoming diabetic by 24% over an 11-year period.

Lead scientist Dr Nita Forouhi, from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology Unit at Cambridge University, said the results show that certain foods have an ‘important role' in preventing Type 2 diabetes.

She suggested that the foods should be referred to in public health campaigns that raise awareness about diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a growing problem among older people, with a larger proportion of newly diagnosed cases occurring in adults over the age of 40.

Dairy products important sources of protein, vitamins and minerals

‘At a time when we have a lot of other evidence that consuming high amounts of certain foods, such as added sugars and sugary drinks, is bad for our health, it is very reassuring to have messages about other foods like yogurt and low-fat fermented dairy products, that could be good for our health.'

Dairy products are important sources of protein, vitamins and minerals but they also contain saturated fat, which can raise cholesterol levels and cause damage to the heart and arteries.

The link between dairy products and type 2 diabetes has been unclear, with previous studies turning out inconclusive results.

This latest study was based on data from 4,255 participants who took part in the larger Epic-Norfolk study, which looked at links between diet and cancer in more than 25,000 men and women.

This latest study was based on data from 4,255 participants

A detailed daily record was compiled of all the food and drink consumed in a week by the 4,255 participants, including 753 who developed type 2 diabetes over 11 years.

The researchers found no association between the consumption of total dairy, high-fat dairy and low-fat dairy foods and new cases of diabetes once factors such as healthier lifestyles, education, obesity, other eating habits and calorie intake were taken into account.

However, people with the highest consumption of low-fat fermented products were more than a fifth less likely to develop diabetes than those who did not consume any.

Yogurt accounted for more than 85% of the fermented dairy products studied.

When yogurt was examined separately, it was associated with a 28% reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes.

The positive effect was identified in participants consuming on average four-and-a-half standard 125 gram pots of yogurt per week.

Copyright Press Association 2014

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Last updated: Dec 05 2018

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