Diabetes prevention

Dairy products & type 2 diabetes: are they protective or harmful?

Dairy products and type 2 diabetes: are they protective or harmful?

Unlike for cardiovascular disease, the associations between dietary fats and the risk of diabetes have been less investigated. In this prospective analysis in individuals with high cardiovascular risk, Marta Guash-Ferré et al. found an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) for cheese and butter intakes, and a reduced risk of T2D for whole-fat yogurt.

Type 2 diabetes and animal fats: few clear evidence

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is on the rise, with more than 415 million adults worldwide suffering from it, and is estimated to increase up to 642 million in 2040.

Because animal fats are rich in saturated fatty acids, their consumption are generally discouraged, as in the 2015 dietary guidelines for Americans, in favor of vegetable fats. However, some studies have shown that each type of saturated fatty acids are not equal, and need  a further research based on the nature of the food.

Thus the aim of the prospective PREDIMED (PREvention con DIeta MEDiterranea) study was to compare the health effects of Mediterranea diet vs control diet in 3.349 individuals. Previous PREDIMED study demonstrated that high vegetable dietary pattern decrease the risk of T2D.

Consuming butter, but not yogurt, may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes

At the baseline, there was no link between saturated fat or animal fat intake and the  T2D occurrence. But after a 4.3 years follow-up, the risk of T2D appears increased in people with the highest uptake of saturated or animal fats. .

However, all saturated or animal fat sources didn’t show the same effects. There were slight differences between several dairy food products, for example whole-fat yogurt consumption was associated with a lower risk of T2D, whereas butter and cheese intake showed the opposite. These results confirm that health effects of fatty acids depend on the type of food. The findings may provide a deeper insight into the recommendations for dietary guidelines, regarding the type of dietary fat to be consumed at a population level.

To learn more, read the original article.

Source : Guash-Ferré M et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2017;105:723-735.

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