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Yoghurt protects against type 2 diabetes, say researchers

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Eating one serving of yoghurt every day lowers your risk for type 2 diabetes by 18 per cent, a Harvard study has concluded. No other dairy product has the same beneficial effect.

The researchers aren’t sure what the link is between yoghurt and diabetes. The product’s calcium, magnesium or specific fatty acids may have a protective effect against the disease, which happens when the body fails to produce enough insulin to break down sugars if the body develops resistance to insulin.

But whatever the actual mechanism, the researchers found that a 28g serving every day had a protective effect.

They discovered the link after they analysed the health and diets of nearly 200,000 participants for two years. Other dairy products, such as milk and cheese, didn’t have any protective effects.

Around 336 million people worldwide are suffering from type 2 diabetes-the form usually caused by diet and lifestyle-and the figure is set to rise to 550 million within 15 years, and so the findings could be significant.

(Source: BMC Medicine, 2014; 12(1): 215)

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