Milk and milk products are known to be packed with several nutrients, especially calcium, promoting bone-health. But did you know that they are also linked to managing diabetes and blood pressure? A recent study, published in the online journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care, found that consumption of at least two servings of dairy products daily may help in lowering the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. A dairy-rich diet has also proven to be beneficial in lowering number of factors that intensify the risks heart-related diseases and metabolic syndrome. For the unversed, metabolic syndrome are the conditions (like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat etc) that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
The study had participants from 21 countries (aged between 35 and 70) including India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia etc. The participants of the study consumed dairy products like milk, yogurt, yogurt drinks, cheese and dishes that were prepared with dairy products. However, butter and cream were assessed separately as there were countries (participants), where these products are not commonly eaten.
For the research, information on personal medical history, use of prescription medicines, educational attainment, smoking and measurements of weight, height, waist circumference, blood pressure and fasting blood glucose were also collected. The findings of the study indicated strong association of total dairy or full-fat dairy (not low-fat dairy) with lowering of the factors that heightened metabolic syndrome.
As per an ANI report, it was an observational study. "If our findings are confirmed in sufficiently large and long term trials, then increasing dairy consumption may represent a feasible and low-cost approach to reducing [metabolic syndrome], hypertension, diabetes, and ultimately cardiovascular disease events worldwide," suggested the researchers.