A report from researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) – the first large-scale, prospective examination of a relationship between dairy intake and diabetes risk – analyzes data from the HSPH-based Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
“Our study found that men consuming higher levels of dairy products, especially low-fat dairy foods, had a significantly lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes during a 12-year period,” says Hyon Choi, director of Outcomes Research in the MGH Rheumatology Unit, the paper’s lead author. “However, individuals should consider both the benefits and risks of dairy foods before considering changing their diets.”
Lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise and weight are established risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Several recent studies have suggested that dairy consumption may help control weight and blood pressure and reduce the risks of health problems such as coronary artery disease and gout. Other research has implied that dairy foods could help prevent insulin resistance, a precursor of type 2 diabetes. The researchers conducted the current study to directly examine the relationship between dairy consumption and diabetes.