A number of research studies, in recent times, have provided evidence related to consumption of milk and milk products and reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes. A wide range of products were covered under these studies including fresh milk, organic full cream milk, tasty dahi, curd, shudhdahi, and fresh and pure dahi. But, what is the mechanism that makes milk and milk products so much beneficial in reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes? Well, when medical experts were asked the same question, they came up with the following possibilities.
Improved insulin sensitivity – Dairy products improve insulin sensitivity, thereby reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes. A hormone produced in the pancreas, Insulin channelizes glucose into the cells that power the human body. Excess consumption of sugar rich foods leads to increased production of insulin, which blunts its effect on the cells, leading to reduced insulin sensitivity. Since dairy products contain natural sugars, they help improve insulin sensitivity.
Vitamins and minerals – Dairy products contain calcium, Vitamin D and magnesium, which have shown to be beneficial in improving pancreatic beta-cell function, reducinginflammation and modulating insulin resistance. All these reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Milk proteins – People who derive their proteins primarily from dairy products stand to gain from improved glucose tolerance and lipid profile. Research studies have also linked milk proteins to improved insulin sensitivity and weigh control.
Fatty acids – Dairy products are a rich source of essential fatty acids such as Trans-palmitoleic acid, Pentadecanoic acid, and Conjugated linoleic acid. These provide wide ranging benefits such as lower insulin resistance, improved lipid profile, and prevention of obesity.
Fermented products – Items such as yogurt contain probiotic bacteria, which have been linked with improved blood lipid profile. Fermented milk products also provide menaquinones (vitamin K2) that has been linked with reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes.