A new study finds yogurt may have some unintentional health benefits.
The United Press International recently highlighted a survey in England, which shows that eating plenty of yogurt may help to reduce the chances of developing adult-onset diabetes.
Researchers noted that participants who ate at least a 125 gram serving of yogurt four to five times per week have a 28 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who did not eat yogurt. The University of Cambridge team, which includes Dr. Nita Forouhi from the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit, also used data from a study that involved over 25,000 men and women from Norfolk, England.
The researchers then compared the food and drink habits of 753 people who developed type 2 diabetes over an 11-year stretch with 3,502 randomly selected study participants.
The study, which was published in Diabetologia, concluded that overall, milk and cheese intake were not associated with diabetes risk. Consequently, participants who consumed the most low-fat fermented dairy products, including yogurt, cottage cheese, and fromage frais had a 24 percent less chance of developing type 2 diabetes over the course of the 11-year study.
Researchers did not find any connection between diabetes risk and those who consumed milk or regular cheese. Although low-fat fermented dairy products were associated with a 24 percent less chance of type 2 diabetes, the risk was lowered to 28 percent when low-fat yogurt was consumed by itself.
While this is good news, lead researcher Dr. Nita Forouhi cautions that the study does not prove exact cause and effect. In addition, the National Health Services notes that although the data was collected from food and drink diaries that the subjects wrote in daily, as opposed to questionnaires that might not be as accurate, the diaries were only used for a seven day period. This abbreviated amount of time makes it more difficult to accurately assess one’s dairy intake. Another concern is that a participant’s diet could have changed over the course of the study.
Although the exact link between low-fat yogurt and a lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes remains unclear, it is evident that yogurt offers additional health benefits. Forouhi explains that yogurt contains bone-building essentials such as calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and fatty acids, all of which have proven health benefits.
Other studies over the last few years have demonstrated that non- and low-fat yogurt can assist with weight loss while helping to build immunity.