Another reason to eat yogurt uncovered

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Yogurt may protect from type 2 diabetes

Harvard researchers claim eating a serving of yogurt daily could help lower our risk of developing type 2 diabetes when incorporated into an otherwise healthy diet. The finding, published in the journal BMC medicine, also sheds more light on how probiotics work to keep us healthy.


The study showed yogurt appeared to help stave off type 2 diabetes even after taking into account other factors like body mass index (BMI) and other chronic diseases. Yogurt has been linked to improved immune function, lower risk of osteoporosis and may even help keep blood pressure in check in addition to having other possible health benefits. Now we may have another reason to add yogurt to our diet.

Whey protein in yogurt may protect from diabetes

The study authors didn't explore why yogurt seems to help keep type 2 diabetes at bay but it may be whey protein that has the ability to lower glucose levels. According to background information from the study it might also be probiotics that alter bacteria in the gut to protect from obesity and diabetes.

Past studies have shown consuming yogurt has a beneficial effect for people already diagnosed with the disease. The study authors failed to find lower risk of type 2 diabetes from consuming other low or high fat dairy products, which may be from saturated fat found in the products.

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The study

For the investigation, study participants filled out questionnaires about food intake and diabetic status. Researchers followed 41,436 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study from 1986 to 2010 and women in the Nurses’ Health Study from 1980 to 2010, in addition to 85,884 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II from 1991 to 2009.

Eating one 28g serving of yogurt a day was consistently found to be linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes, the authors found. The researchers suggest clinical trials to confirm eating yogurt was the reason they found lower risk of type 2 diabetes in the study. More research is needed to understand how probiotics might affect body weight and insulin resistance.

BMC Medicine 2014, 12:215 doi:10.1186/s12916-014-0215-1

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