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Yogurt and chronic disease risk markers: more RCTs needed

Yogurt and chronic disease risk markers: more RCTs needed

Yogurt consumption has been associated with numerous health benefits, which can be explained by indirect effects – yogurt is associated with a healthier lifestyle – but also by intrinsic characteristics of this fermented food, such as lactic ferments. Dumas et al. reviewed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that assessed effects of yogurt on metabolic risk markers of chronic diseases in adults.

RCTs, the gold standard

Their work focuses only on “real yogurt”, which contains Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus (LBST), which were used as a treatment in randomised controlled trials (RCTs), the “gold standard” in evidence based medicine. They have identified seven RCTs, involving 278 participants, which met the inclusion criteria. Among these studies, two reported that LBST yogurt significantly improved several parameters: they showed a reduction of total cholesterol concentrations and the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL-C, and plasma glucose.

More studies are needed

However, the authors pointed out the weakness of the conclusions that can be drown from this analysis, as most selected RCTs presented methodological risks of bias. LBST yogurt shows in this review either favorable or neutral effects on metabolic risk markers, but the effects of yogurt consumption per se on risk markers of chronic diseases need to be confirmed by high-quality RCTs.

To learn more, read the original article.

Source: Dumas et al., European Journal of Nutrition 2016 ; 1-18.