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Dairy Associated With Lower Risk of Metabolic Syndrome, Hypertension, and Diabetes

Dairy foods are great sources of protein, calcium, and vitamins A, D, and B12. A new study has found that higher intake of whole fat dairy is associated with a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome and a lower incidence of hypertension and diabetes.

The researchers used data from The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology study, which has 190,000 participants from 21 countries on 5 continents. The average age of participants was 52 and they were followed for an average of 9.1 years. Food frequency questionnaires were used to assess dietary intake of dairy products. Personal medical history, and measurements of weight, height, waist circumference, blood pressure and fasting blood glucose were collected.

Participants who consumed at least 2 servings per day of total dairy were found to have a 24% lower risk of metabolic syndrome, compared to those with no dairy intake. This rose to 28% for 2 servings or more of full fat dairy. At least two servings per day of total dairy was also associated with an 11% lower risk of hypertension and diabetes. This went up to 13% for participants who consumed 3 servings per day. The associations were stronger for full fat dairy than low fat dairy.

The study was conducted by researchers from McMaster University, the University of Santander, the University of Zimbabwe, and King Saud University. It was published online ahead of print on May 18, 2020 in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.

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