Can yogurt reduce diabetes risk?

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New research from the University of Cambridge reveals that yogurt consumption might be associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The findings have somewhat surprised scientists, as dairy products tend to be a source of saturated fat. Yet the beneficial qualities of low-fat yogurt, the team found, seem to reduce diabetes risk overall by 24 percent.

More than 25,000 men and women living in Norfolk, U.K., were examined for the study, which compared food and drink intake to the onset of diabetes over 11 years. The study attempted to make associations between overall dairy consumption and diabetes as well as how different dairy products affected risk.

Certain dairy products associated with diabetes risk

The researchers found that eating more dairy products overall wasn't associated with diabetes risk, but it also wasn't associated with a lower likelihood of developing the condition. Yet those individuals who consumed low-fat fermented dairy products, like yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese, were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The findings held up even when other lifestyle factors, like education or obesity, were taken into account.

The study authors note they can't conclude that eating yogurt leads to reduced diabetes risk, but low-fat dairy products do offer certain beneficial properties, like vitamin K and probiotics, that can be helpful in warding off disease.

"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," the authors wrote.

The study was published in the journal Diabetologia.

Source: Science Daily