Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are both leading causes of morbidity and mortality in many countries.  Diet is known to play a role in development of both diseases, however, the ability of specific dietary components to reduce the disease incidence is not clearly understood. 

For example, some publications have described an inverse association between consumption of fermented dairy products and T2DM and CVD, whereas others indicated no association.  Many of the publications included limited numbers of studies, therefore, Buziau and colleagues decided to perform a study that explored the relationships between these diseases and fermented or nonfermented dairy consumption.  The results of their work are published in the October 2019 issue of The Journal of Nutrition.

Data for the study were derived from subjects enrolled in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health.  The subjects were between 45 and 50 years of age at baseline, and dietary intake was estimated using a 101-item food frequency questionnaire conducted at that time.  The subjects were followed up using 5 surveys conducted during the 15-year study time frame.  Outcomes included self-reported T2DM and CVD diagnoses.

Women in the highest tertile of yogurt intake had lower odds of developing T2DM, an observation that was no longer significant after adjustment for other dietary variables, including energy intake.  Both a high intake of yogurt or fermented dairy products was associated with lower risk of developing CVD.  However, after adjustment for other dietary factors that relationship was also diminished. 

The authors concluded that these data are suggestive of an inverse association between fermented dairy intake and CVD among Australian women, and that part of the relationship can be explained by other dietary components.

Reference: The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 149, Issue 10, October 2019, Pages 1797–1804, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxz128

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