Consumption of one 28g serving of yogurt per day is associated with an 18 percent lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, the findings showed.
“We found that higher intake of yogurt is associated with a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes, whereas other dairy foods and consumption of total dairy did not show this association,” said senior researcher of the study Frank Hu from the Harvard School of Public Health in the US.
The findings suggest that yogurt can be incorporated into a healthy dietary pattern, Hu added.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells develop resistance to insulin.
It has been shown that probiotic bacteria found in yoghurt improve fat profiles and antioxidant status in people with Type 2 diabetes and the researchers suggest this could have a risk-lowering effect in developing the condition.
The researchers pooled the results of three prospective cohort studies that followed the medical history and lifestyle habits of health professionals. The study involved a total of 289,900 participants.
Within the three cohorts, 15,156 cases of Type 2 diabetes were identified during the follow-up period.
When adjusting for chronic disease risk factors such as age and BMI (body mass index) as well as dietary factors, it was found that high consumption of yogurt was associated with a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The findings were confirmed when the authors conducted a meta-analysis, incorporating their results and other published studies up to March 2013.
The study appeared in the journal BMC Medicine.