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Eating Yogurt May Prevent Diabetes

Update Date: Feb 05, 2014 07:09 PM EST

Yogurt consumption has been shown to protect bones, reduce blood pressure, clear acne and quell gut conditions.  However, a new study reveals that the tasty treat can also protect people from developing diabetes.

A new study reveals that higher consumption of yogurt can reduce the risk of new-onset type 2 diabetes by 28 percent compared with no yogurt consumption.

Researchers also found that higher consumption of low-fat fermented dairy products, which include all yogurt varieties and some low-fat cheeses, can also reduce the relative risk of diabetes by 24 percent overall.

Lead researcher Dr. Nita Forouhi of the University of Cambridge said that the latest research "highlights that specific foods may have an important role in the prevention of type 2 diabetes and are relevant for public health messages."

The latest study involved participants in the EPIC-Norfolk study, which includes more than 25,000 men and women living in Norfolk, UK. Researchers compared a detailed daily record of all the food and drink consumed over a week at the time of study entry among the study participants who developed new-onset type 2 diabetes over 11 years of follow-up with 3,502 randomly selected study participants.

After accounting for lifestyle factors, education, obesity levels, other eating habits and total calorie intake, researchers linked highest consumption of low-fat fermented dairy products (such as yoghurt, fromage frais and low-fat cottage cheese) to a 24 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes over 11 years.

However, when analyzed separately from other low-fat fermented dairy products, yogurt was associated with a 28 percent reduced risk of developing diabetes.

Researchers noted that the risk reduction was seen among participants who ate an average of four and a half standard 125g pots of yogurt a week.

Researchers said the latest study provides strong evidence that eating low-fat fermented dairy products is associated with a decreased risk of developing future type 2 diabetes.

"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 yoghurt and low-fat fermented dairy products, that could be good for our health," Forouhi concluded.

The findings are published in the journal Diabetologia.

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