Yogurt and some cheeses may help to prevent type 2 diabetes

Emobileclinic Researchers’ corner

A new research published on PLOS One recently, reveals that the consumption of butter may help to protect against diabetes because it does not aggravate cardiovascular health, it only has a small negative impact on total mortality according to researchers from Tufts University in Boston, MA.

It is widely believed that saturated fat is generally considered unhealthy, and dietary guidelines recommend avoiding it. In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) noted that consumption of butter in the U.S. was at all-time high in the year 2014.

It is against this background that a growing number of experts have been rethinking the focus on isolated macronutrients, such as saturated fats, and their impact on chronic conditions. The argument is that a range of items that are similarly high in dairy fats may also contain other substances that could have different lipid and metabolic effects. For example, dairy products such as yogurt and certain cheeses have been found to have metabolic properties that may help to prevent type 2 diabetes, despite being dairy fats.

The Researchers led by Laura Pimpin Ph.D, set out to see if there were any links between butter consumption, chronic disease, and all-cause mortality. A meta-analysis which systematically reviewed data for 636,151 people in nine research studies, in order to calculate the relative risk of consuming butter were carried out.

The studies covered 15 country-specific cohorts, and the subjects were followed up for a total of 6.5 million person-years. In the course of the follow-up period, there were 28,271 deaths, 9,783 cases of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and 23,954 cases of new-onset type 2 diabetes.

The authors considered standard consumption of butter consumption to be 14 grams a day, as estimated by the USDA. This is approximately one tablespoon of butter.

Across the nine studies, average butter consumption varied from one third of a serving per day to 3.2 servings per day. Overall, each daily serving of butter was linked either minimally with a risk of CVD, not at all with total mortality, and inversely with diabetes, apparently offering some protection against this chronic condition.

The findings suggest “relatively small or neutral overall associations of butter with mortality, CVD, and diabetes.” Announcing the results, senior author Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the School of Nutrition Science and Technology at Tufts, opines that butter should not be “demonized,” but neither should we see it as a route to good health.

The team leader remarks that although it is common for people who eat more butter to have less healthy lifestyles and diets, the overall results seem to be fairly neutral. “This suggests that butter may be a ‘middle-of-the-road’ food: a more healthful choice than sugar or starch, such as the white bread or potato on which butter is commonly spread and which have been linked to higher risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease; and a worse choice than many margarines and cooking oils – those rich in healthy fats such as soybean, canola, flaxseed, and extra virgin olive oils, which would likely lower risk compared with either butter or refined grains, starches, and sugars.”


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