This review provides a current perspective on proposed mechanisms that may underlie these effects.
Results from epidemiological studies generally support that consumption of milk and dairy products is associated with a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) or improvements in glucose homeostasis indices. In addition, studies of animal and cell models support a positive effect of dairy-rich diets or components on metabolic and inflammation factors relevant to T2D and insulin resistance.
Emerging evidence indicates that dairy components that alter mitochondrial function (e.g. leucine actions on silent information regulator transcript 1 (SIRT1)-associated pathways), promote gut microbial population shifts, or influence inflammation and cardiovascular function (e.g. Ca-regulated peptides calcitonin gene-related peptide [CGRP] or calcitonin) should be considered as possible mechanistic factors linking dairy intake with lower risk for T2D. The possibility that dairy-derived trans-palmitoleic acid (tC16:1) has metabolic bioactivities has also been suggested.