Eating a daily serving of yogurt is associated with an 18% lower risk of type 2 diabetes, says a new study published in the journal BMC Medicine.
Some research has suggested that calcium, magnesium and fatty acids found dairy products may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, which develops when the body stops making insulin. So researchers from Harvard School of Public Health took a closer look at the possible relationship between yogurt consumption and diabetes, hypothesizing that yogurt’s probiotics and antioxidants may have a positive effect.
Researchers at looked at data from three cohorts of people who had their health and lifestyles followed. At the start of the studies, the participants filled out a questionnaire about their diets and history of chronic diseases. Every two years, researchers followed up with participants and updated the data.
The researchers did not find that dairy consumption in general affected diabetes risk, but they did find that yogurt was specifically associated with a lower risk of developing the disease. With further calculations, the researchers concluded that consuming one serving of yogurt per day was associated with an 18% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
The researchers were not able to determine exactly what was providing the health benefit, and it’s likely that maintaining a healthy diet in general has a positive effect on type 2 diabetes risk, considering weight gain is one of the most prominent risk factors for the disease. More research is needed—but not before making yogurt a dietary staple for health.