Can drinking milk protect you from diabetes? Here's what you need to know | Health - Hindustan Times
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Can drinking milk protect you from diabetes? Here's what you need to know

By, New Delhi
Jun 12, 2023 11:30 AM IST

A recent research highlights role of milk and dairy products in decreasing risk of developing diabetes. Here’s all you want to know.

People with diabetes have to be very careful while designing their diets as it may affect their blood sugar levels. Milk is usually considered a crucial part of our diet being high on protein, calcium, healthy fats and other vital nutrients. However, in recent years there has been a debate on whether or not people with the metabolic disorder should consume milk on a regular basis. Milk may have unhealthy fats that can increase risk of cardiovascular disease associated with diabetes. However, a recent research suggests that milk and dairy products, especially fermented ones, were associated with a decreased risk of developing diabetes. Additionally, they offered protection against metabolic syndrome and obesity. This means a glass of milk every day can protect one from diabetes. (Also read: Diabetes crisis deepens in India: Top 10 worst-affected states and UTs)

A glass of milk can make your breakfast healthy.(Shutterstock)
A glass of milk can make your breakfast healthy.(Shutterstock)

Can milk prevent diabetes?

“Milk and diabetes have become a contentious subject, especially in recent years. Activist groups have the view that cow's milk is not suitable for human consumption. Another group of people contend that consumption of milk and other dairy products is the root cause of type 2 diabetes. The results of our research have been quite the reverse. Our initial research revealed that milk consumers have a decreased prevalence of diabetes and obesity in the Chennai Urban-Rural Epidemiology Study (CURES). But because CURES was a cross-sectional study, it was sensitive to confounding factors that could not be considered. Later, 1,30,000 persons participated in the prospective urban rural epidemiological study (PURE), a long-term longitudinal study conducted in 27 nations. We monitored people who did not have diabetes for over a period of 10 to 15 years, to determine how many developed diabetes later, and we subsequently correlated the development of the disease with the consumption of milk and dairy products,” Dr V. Mohan – Chairman and Chief Diabetologist – Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre told HT Digital.

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"In that study, we were able to demonstrate that those who consumed milk, other dairy products, particularly fermented dairy products like yoghurt, cheese, and butter experienced much lower rates of new-onset diabetes. Milk has been found to have protective effects," says Dr Mohan.

Role of milk in reducing risk of obesity, hypertension

Later research revealed that milk and dairy products also help to prevent metabolic syndrome obesity, and hypertension.

"A meta-analysis and systemic evaluation of the impact of dairy products, including milk and yoghurt in particular, was recently published by our team. Additionally, we discovered that milk and yoghurt both defended against metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes," he says.

In conclusion, there is little evidence to suggest that consuming milk and dairy products is harmful in terms of metabolic problems, and, they appear to have a protective effect. In addition, milk is a fantastic source of both calcium and protein. Therefore it is important to avoid restricting milk for anyone, particularly growing children and women who require both calcium and protein.

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