Milk and Cheese Lower Obesity and Diabetes Risk, Study


Dairy consumption lowers risk of metabolic diseases like obesity and type-2 diabetes, according to a new study by CHU de Québec Research Center and Laval University.

Previous studies showed that daily consumption of 2-4 portions of milk-based products like milk, yogurt, cheese, cream and butter is good for bones as it contains calcium and minerals.

For the study, the researchers analysed the dairy-eating habits of 254 healthy French-Canadians' (105 men and 128 women) to determine the effect of dairy consumption on their overall metabolic health.

The aim of the study was also to find associations between dairy intake and specific metabolic risk factors including anthropometric status, plasma glucose, plasma lipid profile, inflammatory markers and blood pressure in a healthy population.

The researchers found that an average participant consumed 2.5 ± 1.4 portions of dairy per day. Plus, nearly 45 percent of the participants did not meet Canada's Food Guide recommendations of at least 2 portions of dairy products a day. These findings strengthen the results of other studies that highlighted under-consumption of dairy products by Canadians.

Dairy intake was related to lower blood glucose and blood pressure in the current study, demonstrating lack of negative health effects with higher dairy intake.

The study also discovered that trans-palmitoleic acid found in plasma can be used as a biomarker to assess dairy consumption. The acid present in milk, cheese, yogurt, butter and meat, has health-promoting effects. The trans-palmitoleic acid level is directly proportional to lower blood pressure in men and women, and to lower body weight in men.

"Additional well-designed intervention studies are needed to ascertain the effects of increased dairy consumption on metabolic health in healthy and in metabolically deteriorated populations," Dr. Iwona Rudkowska, a research scientist at the Endocrinology and Nephrology Department, at the CHU de Québec Research Center and assistant professor at Laval University , said in a press release.

The finding is published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.                            

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