A new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers found that higher consumption of yogurt was associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Other forms of dairy were not found to offer similar protection.

Drawing on health data from more than a 100,000 participants in three long-running studies — the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (1986 to 2010), Nurses’ Health Study (1980 to 2010), and Nurses’ Health Study II (1991 to 2009) — the researchers found that a daily serving of yogurt was linked to an 18 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Senior author Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology, told Forbes that the mechanisms behind this finding “are not well understood at this point. One hypothesis is that the probiotics in yogurt may help to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation, but this hypothesis needs to be tested in randomized clinical trials.”

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