High-Fat Dairy Reduces Type 2 Diabetes Risk

High meat intake, regardless of fat content, is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
High meat intake, regardless of fat content, is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Sources of dietary fat may influence risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, held from Sept. 15 to 19 in Vienna.

Ulrika Ericson, Ph.D., of the Lund University Diabetes Center in Malmö, Sweden, and colleagues analyzed data for 26,930 individuals (60 percent female), aged 45 to 74 years, over 14 years of follow-up, to assess the association between intake of dietary fat and incident type 2 diabetes.

The researchers found that the incidence of type 2 diabetes was lower (hazard ratio [HR], 0.77; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.68 to 0.87; P for trend < 0.001) for those in the highest quintile for intake of high-fat dairy products (median, eight portions per day) compared with the lowest quintile (median, one portion per day).

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High intake of meat and meat products was associated with increased risk of incident type 2 diabetes for both high-fat meat (HR, 1.09; 95 percent CI, 0.97 to 1.24; P for trend = 0.04) and low-fat meat (HR, 1.25; 95 percent CI, 1.11 to 1.41; P for trend < 0.001).

"The decreased risk at high intakes of high-fat dairy products, but not of low-fat dairy products, indicate that dairy fat, at least partly, explains observed protective associations between dairy intake and type 2 diabetes," Ericson said in a statement. "Our findings suggest, that in contrast to animal fats in general, fats specific to dairy products may have a role in prevention of type 2 diabetes."

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