RECENT CONTROVERSIAL FINDING – EATING A SMALL PORTION OF YOGURT EVERY DAY MAY REDUCE DIABETES RISK
A US study that assessed the eating habits of more than 100,000 people and then followed them up every four years, looking for new diagnoses of Type 2 Diabetes. The researchers concluded,’’ We found that higher intake of yogurt is associated with a reduced risk of T2D, whereas other dairy foods and consumption of total dairy are not appreciably associated with incidence of T2D. The consistent findings for yogurt suggest that it can be incorporated into a healthy dietary pattern. However, randomized clinical trials are warranted to further examine the causal effects of yogurt consumption as well as probiotics on body weight and insulin resistance.’
As yoghurt has a high content of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, whey protein and specific fatty acids, dairy products have been suggested to lower risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Whey protein has insulinotropic and glucose-lowering properties as it stimulates the release of several gut hormones, such as cholecystokinin, peptide YY and the incretins gastric inhibitory peptide and glucagon-like peptide 1 that potentiate insulin secretion from β-cells and are associated with regulation of food intake.Several epidemiologic studies have further suggested that dairy or calcium consumption is associated with lowering the risks of hypertension and coronary artery disease.
However, it is important to consider that one of the study’s authors declared a competing interest as he “holds membership of Unilever North America Scientific Advisory Board”. Unilever produces a huge number of commonly eaten yoghurts. Therefore, there may be a conflict of interest in the interpretation these results.
Whilst the meta-analysis data may seem convincing to some, we need to consider that many low-fat yogurts have high-sugar which may contribute to:
• Weight –related disease
• Toot-decay in children
Furthermore the research study did not state the type of yogurt consumed e.g. Greek, low-fat, high fats, pro-biotics, high sugar, etc and the follow-up times with the patients varied, along with the risk-reduction time varied e.g. less than and more than 10 years.
So it may be wise for now to adhere to current lifestyle modification advice:
• Regular Physical Activity
• Eat a healthy balanced diet
• Weight control