The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

The Role of Dairy in Preventing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

The role of dairy in preventing type 2 diabetes mellitus

A high prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose homeostasis is seen among the South African population, with poor diet and lifestyle factors mentioned as major contributors. A number of large-scale analyses suggest that dietary dairy intake is associated with a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus and a number of physiological mechanisms are postulated to be involved. The role of the food matrix appears to be especially important in understanding these mechanisms. As the matrix affects digestibility and absorption of nutrients, the health effects of nutrient combinations may be different from those of individual nutrients. In the case of dairy, both the macro- and the micronutrient composition appear to affect factors that support blood glucose control. The review offers insight into the physiological foundation for encouraging the daily intake of dairy products as an attainable approach to achieving proper blood glucose control.

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