In the Journals

Daily yogurt consumption decreased risk for type 2 diabetes

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December 2, 2014

Recent study findings published in BMC Medicine suggest that a lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes was associated with high intake of yogurt.

“Our study benefited from having such a large sample size, high rates of follow-up and repeated assessment of dietary and lifestyle factors,” Mu Chen, a doctoral candidate at the Harvard School of Public Health, said in a press release.

Chen and colleagues evaluated results from three prospective cohorts that followed medical history and lifestyle habits of health professionals. The cohorts included 41,497 US male dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians, osteopathic physicians and podiatrists aged 40 to 75 years in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (1986-2010); 67,138 US female nurses aged 30 to 55 years in the Nurses’ Health Study (1980-2010); and 85,884 US female nurses aged 25 to 42 years in the Nurses’ Health Study II (1991-2009).

A questionnaire was completed at the beginning of each study assessing baseline information on lifestyle and occurrence of chronic disease; follow-up was conducted every 2 years.

Overall, 15,156 type 2 diabetes cases were identified through follow-up. There was no associated risk for type 2 diabetes and total dairy consumption in age- and multivariate-adjusted models among all participants (P>.05). There was a 4% lower risk with one serving per day increment of dairy consumption in the age-, BMI- and energy-adjusted model; however, further adjustment made the association null.

High consumption of yogurt was associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes when researchers adjusted for risk for chronic disease.

When researchers incorporated other study results with their own, they found that one 28-g serving of yogurt per day decreased the risk for type 2 diabetes by 18%.

“Yogurt — 1 cup per day — can be incorporated into a healthy dietary pattern,” study researcher Frank Hu, MD, MPH, PhD, of the Harvard School of Public Health, told Endocrine Today. “However, weight control through diet and exercise remains the most important to prevent type 2 diabetes. Of course, one should be aware of the amount of added sugar in yogurt.” – by Amber Cox

Disclosure: See the full study for a complete list of the researchers’ financial disclosures.