Consumption of dairy products reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes

Limiting the consumption of animal products is a common advice given by health practitioners to patients at risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), but new research has discovered that eating certain animal foods can actually reduce this risk.

Italian researchers led by Dr. Annalisa Giusui, of the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery at the University of Naples Federico II in Naples, Italy, conducted a review of existing meta-analyses on the links between animal products and diabetes. The scientists browsed four databases – Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus, and Embase – to uncover appropriate studies comparing how different animal products can lead to or prevent the development of T2D.

The team found 175 estimates of how much of 12 animal products were associated with T2D. These were whole meats, red meats including beef, lamb and pork, white meats including chicken and turkey, processed meats including bacon, sausages, deli meats, fish, whole dairy products, full-fat dairy products, low-fat dairy products, milk, cheese, yogurt and eggs.

According to the results presented at the annual meeting of the European Society for the Study of Diabetes in Stockholm, Sweden recently held, consumption of 200 grams of milk per day was associated with a 10% reduction in risk; The same amount of total dairy products was associated with a 5% reduction, and low-fat dairy – with a 3% reduction. Meanwhile, eating 100 grams of yogurt reduced the risk of developing T2D by 6% according to the study.

Cheese and full-fat dairy products (daily rations of 30g and 200g, respectively) appear to have no effect on T2D risk.