Prof. Forouhi (University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine, UK) described the need to assess the preventive effect of specific dairy foods, such as milk and yogurt, on the risk of T2D instead of dairy as overall category. A large prospective study (EPIC) in eight EU-countries analyzed the effect of total dairy intake on the incidence of T2D in a cohort of 16,835 subjects by food frequency questionnaires. The results showed a 12% reduced risk for high consumption of combined fermented dairy products, such as yogurt, cheese and fermented milks, compared to low consumption.
4,5 servings of yogurt a week
A second cohort-study (EPIC-Norfolk) evaluated the specific role of yogurt based on a real-time, 7-day food diary of 4,000 Britons, followed for 11 years. Regularly consumption of low-fat fermented milk products (yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream) reduced the risk for T2D with 24%, which is in contrast with non-consumers. In particular, 4,5 servings of yogurt weekly can prevent the development of T2D with 28%. Further research must focus on the specific mechanisms in yogurt, underlying the effect. Micronutrients, such as calcium, vitamins D and magnesium in yogurt may contribute to this protective effect.