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Yogurt may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes

Eating Yogurt may reduce type 2 diabetes risk

FDA approves claim that yogurt may prevent diabetes

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First published: 02.Mar.2024

Overview: Diabetes risk claim

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on March 1st, 2024 that it will not object to the qualified health claims put forward by manufacturers that suggests that eating yogurt can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

In this Article (Index)

bowl with yogurt and some raspberries in it and around it
Yogurt could help reduce risk of diabetes and the FDA agrees

Yogurt and diabetes: benefits

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) evaluated the evidence linking yougurt consumption and the reduction of type 2 diabetes risk and although it admitted that the evidence wasn't strong enough to issue an "authorized" helth claim, it was sufficient for a "qualified" health claim. (2)

A qualified health claim is one that is supported by scientific data but has not yet passed the more rigorous standard of an "authorized" health claim.

The FDA added that the wording of the claims should not mislead consumers.

Dairy producer Danone North America had requested that the FDA approve the use of a qualified health claim that states that yougurt may reduce type 2 diabetes. The company also pointed out that this health effect of yogurt is due to the food rather than any single compound or nutrient in it, and is independent of its fat or sugar content.

The FDA agreed to both requests noting that the link between type 2 diabetes is supported by valid evidence, but that it is limited hence they granted the "qualified" and not the "authorized" claim.

These are the qualified health claims regarding the relationship between yogurt and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes:

  • "Eating yogurt regularly, at least 2 cups (3 servings) per week, may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. FDA has concluded that there is limited information supporting this claim."
  • "Eating yogurt regularly, at least 2 cups (3 servings) per week, may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes according to limited scientific evidence."

This is the first qualified health claim issued for yougurt by the FDA.

Diabetes is a disease that affects roughly 38 million Americans and 460 million people around the world.

Yogurt is a food made by fermenting mik with bacteria of Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus strains, and it retains the calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, protein, minerals and vitamins of milk. Chose an unsweetened yougurt, one without added sugar because sugar is linked to type 2 diabetes.

A balanced diet, that does not include ultraporcessed foods or food with added sugars is a healthy option for everyone.

Yogurt Health Benefits

> > Learn more about The health benefits of Yogurt


FDA analized different studies and trials before issuing its approval.
An example of a study on probiotcs and their effect on type 2 diabetes is the one conducted by Ayesha et al, (2023) (2), who noticed an improvement in blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes subjects (T2DM) but also found inconsistencies in the outcomes of some of the randomized control trials (RCTs) they analyzed:

The results... demonstrated a significant improvement in the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) following the probiotic intervention and considerably decreased glycated hemoglobin HbA1c levels and fasting blood glucose (FBG) levels in T2DM patients compared to placebo.
This research offers proof that probiotics are clinically effective in the treatment of T2DM. Probiotic supplementation demonstrated favorable effects on glycemic control markers. However, the findings from RCTs were heterogeneous, and some studies showed inconsistent results.

How can yogurt help reduce diabetes risk?

One possible mechanism is that the probiotics (live bacteria) in the yogurt may help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflamation. Trials with mice have shown that modifying the gut bacteria can improve insulin resistance and lower inflammation. It has also been suggested that the gut bacteria may help control apetite and reduce obesity. Body fat is a strong mediator of insulin resistance.

Another mechanism could involve calcium, as it seems that higher calcium levels in cells may promote the release of insulin and this reduces blood sugar levels acting as a protection against T2DM.

Eating yougurt increases levels of two compounds called peptide YY and glucagon-like peptide 1; they act upon glucose metabolism too.

Yogur's protein content may increase satiety, and this can help reduce food intake and help lower body fat levels.

References and Further Reading

(1) Food and Drug Administration (2024). FDA Announces Qualified Health Claim for Yogurt and Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes March, 1, 2024.

(2) Ayesha IE, Monson NR, Klair N, Patel U, Saxena A, Patel D, Venugopal S. (2023). 21 UProbiotics and Their Role in the Management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (Short-Term Versus Long-Term Effect): A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Cureus. 2023 Oct 9;15(10):e46741. doi: 10.7759/cureus.46741. PMID: 38022046

About this Article

FDA approves health claim thad eating yougurt reduces risk of type 2 diabetes, A. Whittall

©2024, 02 Mar. 2024. Update scheduled for 02 Mar. 2028.

Tags: diet, yogurt, food, diabetes.

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