Yogurt may help fight diabetes

GENEVA — In the fight against diabetes, yogurt may be on your side.

Eating yogurt can reduce the risk of getting type 2 diabetes by 28 percent, compared with consuming none, according to a study published by Diabetologia. Higher consumption of low-fat fermented dairy products, such as yogurt and some cheeses, also lowered the relative risk of diabetes by 24 percent overall, the study showed.

Dairy products are an important source of proteins, vitamins and minerals such as calcium. They also contain saturated fat, which shouldn’t be consumed in high quantities, according to current dietary guidelines. Previous studies analyzing possible links between their consumption and diabetes had inconclusive findings, the researchers said.

“Specific foods may have an important role in the prevention of type 2 diabetes, and are relevant for public health messages,” lead scientist Nita Forouhi, from the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge, said in a statement. Diabetologia is the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

The latest research was based on the EPIC-Norfolk study, which includes more than 25,000 men and women living in Norfolk, England. It compared daily records of food and drink consumption among 753 people who developed type 2 diabetes over 11 years of follow-up with 3,502 randomly selected study participants, according to the statement. Researchers analyzed the risk of diabetes in relation to consumption of dairy products.

“There have been several meta analyses putting together all the studies on dairy and type 2 diabetes recently and the data is mixed, but overall they show protection from various forms of dairy including yogurt,” Peter Clifton, head of the Nutritional Interventions Laboratory at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, said in a separate statement.

— Albertina Torsoli, Bloomberg News