Including yogurt to the daily diet can help prevent risk of developing diabetes, researchers reveal.kthread/Flickr

Including yogurt in your daily diet can help prevent the risk of developing diabetes, researchers reveal.

In a study, reported in Diabetologia, regular consumption of yogurt - at least four and a half pots of 125 g yogurt weekly -  was associated with 28 percent lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Additionally, higher consumption of any type of low-fat fermented dairy products, including yogurts and low-fat cheese, cut the risk of diabetes by 24 percent.

The study looked at 25,000 people enrolled in the EPIC-Norfolk study in UK.  Researchers from the University of Cambridge selected more than 4,200 people for the study. Participants kept a daily record of what they ate and drank for one week.

During the 11-year follow-up of the study, 753 people were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Consumption of low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese or fromage frais was associated with 24 percent lowered risk of type 2 diabetes, compared to people who totally avoided these products.

Though dairy products are rich in vitamin D, calcium and magnesium, researchers could not find a cause-and-effect relation between the two - higher consumption of dairy products and reduced diabetes risk. However, they assumed that probiotic bacteria and Vitamin K, produced through fermentation, may be playing a major role in this occurrence.

"Greater low-fat fermented dairy product intake, largely driven by yoghurt intake, was associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes development in prospective analyses," researchers, while concluding their study, wrote.  "These findings suggest that the consumption of specific dairy types may be beneficial for the prevention of diabetes, highlighting the importance of food group subtypes for public health messages."

Yogurt has always found an important place in the list of healthy foods. According to experts from the University of Michigan Integrative Medicine, taking fermented/probiotic milk products helps restore the bacterial balance in the digestive tract, disturbed by diseases or poor diet.

Following are some of the health benefits of eating yogurt, provided by the University of Michigan Integrative Medicine.

  • Curing acute infectious diarrhoea in children
  • Preventing development of colon tumour
  • Helps improve good cholesterol
  • Effective in lowering some symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Plays major role in the transformation of dietary fiber into healthy fats

Previous research has also shed more light on the health benefits of eating yogurt. In 2003, Dr Michael Zemel from University of Tennessee reported that combining yogurt with low-calorie diet can help lose belly fat.