HealthDay News — Higher intake of whole-fat dairy products is associated with a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) as well as hypertension and diabetes, according to a study published online May 18 in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.

Balaji Bhavadharini, Ph.D., from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues used MetS data from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology study (112,922 individuals aged 35 and 70 years from 21 countries), with a median follow-up of 9.1 years. The prospective analysis included 57,547 individuals free of hypertension and 131,481 individuals free of diabetes.

The researchers found that higher intake of total dairy (at least two servings/day versus zero intake) was associated with a lower prevalence of MetS in an adjusted multivariable analysis (odds ratio [OR], 0.76; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.71 to 0.80, P-trend < 0.0001). Lower MetS prevalence was seen with higher intake of whole-fat dairy consumed alone (OR, 0.72; 95 percent CI, 0.66 to 0.78; P-trend < 0.0001) or consumed jointly with low-fat dairy (OR, 0.89; 95 percent CI, 0.80 to 0.98; P-trend = 0.0005). There was no association noted between low-fat dairy consumption alone and MetS (OR, 1.03; 95 percent CI, 0.77 to 1.38; P-trend = 0.13). The investigators also observed an association between higher intake of total dairy and a lower incidence of hypertension (hazard ratio, 0.89; 95 percent CI, 0.82 to 0.97; P-trend = 0.02) and diabetes (hazard ratio, 0.88, 95 percent CI, 0.76 to 1.02; P-trend = 0.01). Similar associations were seen for whole-fat dairy for each outcome.

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“If our findings are confirmed in sufficiently large and long-term trials, then increasing dairy consumption may represent a feasible and low cost approach to reducing MetS, hypertension, diabetes, and ultimately cardiovascular disease events worldwide,” the authors write.


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