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Yogurt Consumption Linked With Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Type-2 diabetes affects 336 million people worldwide and estimates suggest that number could increase to 552 million by 2030. A recent study found a link between eating yogurt and a lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

Harvard School of Public Health researchers examined data from three different studies:

1. The Health Professionals’ Follow-up Study, which included 51,529 US male dentists, pharmacists, vets, osteopathic physicians and podiatrists, age 40-75;

2. The Nurses’ Health Study, which started in 1976 and followed 121,700 female US nurses between the ages of 30 and 55;

3. The Nurses’ Healthy Study II, which included 116,671 female nurses between the ages of 25 and 42 who were followed beginning in 1989.

All of the participants filled out questionnaires at the beginning of their studies in order to gather information on lifestyle and occurrence of chronic disease. There was a follow up every two years after that, with a 90% participation rate. Anyone with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer at the onset of the study was excluded from taking part.

15,156 total cases of type-2 diabetes were recorded during the follow up period. The researchers found no association between total dairy consumption and type-2 diabetes. However, when they examined individual dairy products and adjusted for age and BMI in addition to other dietary factors, they found that high consumption of yogurt was associated with a lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

Following that discovery, the researchers conducted a meta-analysis that included the results they had found and other published studies through March 2013. They discovered that eating a 28 g serving of yogurt daily was associated with an 18% lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes.

The study was published on November 25, 2014, in BMC Medicine.

Previous studies have shown yogurt may improve bone health, provide good bacteria for gut health, and possibly even be associated with weight loss. If you want to add more yogurt to your diet, it’s best stick with a low or no fat brand, as higher fat intake can reverse the positive health benefits.

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