ICN 2017, Buenos Aires, Argentina

A comprehensive review of the scientific & nutrition evidence about yogurt

yogurt fermentation & the gut microbiome: live from the conference room at icn 2017

On October 19th, 2017, our initiative organized a symposium in Argentina, introducing local nutrition experts to the available evidence-based knowledge about yogurt.

This local symposium, tailor-made for Argentinian nutrition experts, was a great opportunity to review the scientific evidence about the benefits associated with the regular consumption of yogurt.

Here are the key messages for each talk as well as a selection of references for each of the speakers present at this special session that you will find on this website:

Adam Drewnowski talked about the nutrient and energy density of yogurt

  • he showed that yogurt obtains high scores in terms of nutrient density and energy density
  • and highlighted how yogurt has good scores in all nutrients calculation systems
  • yogurt thus appears to be a nutrient dense food, which provides “useful” calories compared to empty calories
  • yogurt provides minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc; vitamins such as B2, B12, D and proteins
  • he concluded on the fact that different studies have associated regular consumption of yogurt with better control of body weight

Read further from Professor Drewnowski

Andrew Prentice made a presentation of yogurt from a public health standpoint

  • he explained that yogurt represents a cost-effective approach to public health
  • according to him yogurt may have benefits in weight control & type 2 diabetes

Read further from Professor Prentice

Nancy Babio presented the epidemiological evidence about yogurt consumption and type 2 diabetes

  • Nancy Babio reminded that yogurt consumption has been associated with a 28% lower probability of suffering from type 2 diabetes
  • yogurt nutrients and peptides influence glucose and insulin sensitivity, reducing cardiometabolic risk
  • evidence suggests that, independently of the fat or sugar yogurt contains, its consumption is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
  • intervention studies are needed to establish a causal relationship between yogurt and type 2 diabetes

Read further from Dr Nancy Babio

André Marette then talked about the possible role of fermented foods in reducing the risk of developing non-communicable diseases

  • yogurt is obtained through the lactic acid fermentation of milk and contains live bacteria
  • fermentation produces a certain number of modifications (taste, texture, shelf-life) as well as by-products (bioactive peptides)
  • current studies focus on the identification of mechanisms by which the consumption of yogurt positively impacts our health
  • yogurt’s positive impact on our health: digestion of lactose, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and possibly in a reduced risk of heart disease

Read further from Professor André Marette

Maria Elisa Zapata then presented the results of her study about yogurt consumption in Argentina and diet nutritional density

  • Dr Zapata’s results tend to show that simple food swapping, including yogurt, have an impact on diet quality
  • when meals include dairy products or yogurt, their nutrient density – i.e. concentration of nutrients per amount of food – is greater.

Read more about healthy food swaps

Luis Moreno did a presentation on how yogurt qualifies as a healthy snack option for children

  • epidemiological studies suggest that yogurt, which is an easily digestible food, is associated with healthy lifestyle habits
  • obesity prevention is essential during the first years of life
  • starting yogurt consumption at an early age may favor control of body weight

Read further from Professor Luis Moreno