Small amounts of milk may protect against type 2 diabetes: study

Dairy products like milk and cheese, when consumed in moderation, can help prevent type 2 diabetes, according to a new study. However, statistics indicate that red and processed meat increases the risk.

The study by Italian researchers showed that dairy products – particularly low-fat and yogurt – are associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Red and processed meats have been linked to a higher T2D risk – but moderate amounts of fish and eggs could be eaten in their place. T2D is the most common form of diabetes and occurs when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or the insulin it produces does not work properly.

Woman holds small milk container
A woman poses for the camera while holding tiny milk containers. Dairy products like milk and cheese, when consumed in moderation, can help prevent type 2 diabetes, according to a new study. However, statistics indicate that red and processed meat increases the risk.
Cast by Thousands/Shutterstock via Zenger

Obesity is the main risk factor and T2D cases are expected to increase. Common complications include heart disease, kidney disease, vision loss, and circulatory problems that can lead to foot amputation.

Existing dietary guidelines for preventing T2D recommend eating certain plant-based foods — such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and olive oil — and typically advise limiting consumption of most animal products.

However, not all animal protein sources are nutritionally equal.

Knowing how different animal products are linked to T2D would allow guidelines to be updated and make it easier for people to choose the best foods to reduce their risk of diabetes.

dr Annalisa Giosue of Italy’s University of Naples Federico II and her colleagues conducted a review of previous links found between different animal foods and diabetes.

They explained that such “review review” provides one of the highest levels of evidence available in medicine. The eligible analyzes included 175 estimates of how much of 12 different animal products — total meat, red meat, white meat, processed meat, fish, total dairy, whole dairy, low-fat dairy, milk, cheese, yogurt, and eggs — may be at risk for developing T2D increase or decrease.

Red meat includes beef, lamb, and pork, while white meat includes chicken and turkey. Processed meats include bacon, sausages, and charcuterie.

There was a “significant” increase in T2D risk with consumption of 100 grams (g) per day of total meat (20 percent) and 100 g/day of red meat (22 percent) and 50 g/day of processed meat (30 percent). ), while 50 g of white meat per day was associated with a smaller increase in risk (4 percent).

Giosue said: “There are several possible reasons for this. For example, red and processed meats are important sources of components like saturated fat, cholesterol, and heme iron, all of which are known to promote chronic low-level inflammation and oxidative stress, which in turn can decrease cellular sensitivity to insulin.

“Processed meat also contains nitrites and sodium, which, among other things, can damage the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. In comparison, white meat has a lower fat content, a more favorable fatty acid profile and a lower proportion of heme iron.”

In contrast, dairy products appeared to protect against T2D or have a neutral relationship to disease development, she said.

Milk (200 g/day) was associated with a 10 percent risk reduction, dairy (200 g/day) with a 5 percent risk reduction, and low-fat dairy (200 g/day) with a 3 percent reduction. Yoghurt (100 g/day) was associated with a 6 percent reduction in risk.

Cheese (30 g/day) and whole milk products (200 g/day) were found to have no effect on T2D risk.

Giosue said: “Dairy products are rich in nutrients, vitamins and other bioactive compounds that may favorably affect glucose metabolism – the body’s processing of sugar. For example, whey proteins in milk are known to modulate the rise in blood sugar levels after eating.”

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

Giosue said while the results suggest low-fat dairy is more beneficial than full-fat dairy, the results should be treated “cautiously” due to the small magnitude of the risk reduction.

She added: “Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of diet-related deaths worldwide. Learning more about how different dietary components increase or decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes is key to its prevention.”

“Although more well-conducted research is needed to achieve the high quality of evidence required for sound recommendations, our comprehensive review of the scientific evidence shows that regular consumption of dairy products in moderate amounts, particularly low-fat, milk and Yoghurt can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes,” Giosue said.

“It’s also clear that while red and processed meats should be eaten sparingly, moderate amounts of fish and eggs could be good substitutes.”

The results, published in Diabetes research and clinical practiceare to be presented next week at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Stockholm.

Produced in collaboration with SWNS talker.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News. Small amounts of milk may protect against type 2 diabetes: study

Rick Schindler

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