Eating moderate dairy food may prevent type 2 diabetes

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In a study from the University of Naples Federico, scientists found that dairy products, especially low-fat products and yogurt, are linked to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

But red and processed meat were linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, but moderate amounts of fish and eggs could be eaten in their place.

Being overweight and obesity are the main risk factors and the incidence of type 2 diabetes is projected to increase.

Common complications include heart disease, kidney disease, vision loss and circulatory problems which can lead to foot amputation.

In the study, the team carried out a review of existing meta-analyses into links between different animal-based foods and diabetes.

Databases were searched for dose-response meta-analyses of studies into the link between different foods and type 2 diabetes.

The 13 meta-analyses contained 175 estimates of how much 12 different animal products (total meat, red meat, white meat, processed meat, fish, total dairy, full-fat dairy, low-fat dairy, milk, cheese, yogurt and eggs) may increase or reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

(Red meat includes beef, lamb and pork, while white meat includes chicken and turkey. Processed meat includes bacon, sausages, and deli meat.)

The team found there was a substantial increase in type 2 diabetes risk with the consumption of 100 g/day of total meat (20% increase in risk) and 100 g/day of red meat (22% increase) and with 50 g/day of processed meats (30% increase).

A daily amount of 50g of white meat was associated with a smaller increase in type 2 diabetes risk (4%).

Dairy foods, in contrast, appeared to protect against type 2 diabetes or had a neutral link with the development of the condition.

Milk (200 g/day) was linked to a 10% reduction in risk, total dairy (200 g/day) with a 5% reduction in risk and low-fat dairy (200 g/day) with a 3% reduction. Yogurt (100 g/day) was associated with a 6% reduction in risk.

Cheese (30 g/day) and full-fat dairy (200 g/day) were found to have no effect on the risk of type 2 diabetes. The quality of evidence was moderate to low.

The team says dairy products are rich in nutrients, vitamins and other bioactive compounds, which may favorably influence glucose metabolism—the processing of sugar by the body.

Probiotics are also known to exert beneficial effects on glucose metabolism, which may explain why we found that regular consumption of yogurt is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies about unhealthy plant-based diets linked to metabolic syndrome, and green tea and coffee could help reduce death risk in diabetes.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies that blueberries strongly benefit people with metabolic syndrome, and results showing vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes.

The study was conducted by Dr. Annalisa Giosuè et al and presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

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