New results of the Di@bet.es study have shown that people who consume dairy products on a regular basis are less likely to suffer from diabetes and hypertension, and therefore, less likely to develop associated diseases.

Designed and promoted by the Center for Biomedical Research in Network for Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Diseases (CIBERDEM), the project included the participation of researchers and several health centers throughout Spain. The cross-sectional phase of the study was carried out between 2008 and 2010 and included more than 5,000 adult volunteers from all over.

The work was coordinated by Gemma Rojo Martínez, group leader at CIBERDEM and researcher at the Regional Hospital of Malaga and the Biomedical Research Institute of Malaga (IBIMA). The study originally aimed to determined the incidence of diabetes in Spain, by following the subjects for eight years.

The director of the Clinical Management Unit of Endocrinology and Nutrition of the Regional Hospital of Malaga, Gabriel Olveira, said that the initial objective of this study was to establish the prevalence of diabetes in Spain, “but it has also allowed studying the prevalence of other factors of risk such as obesity, hypertension, sedentary lifestyle or diet.”

As a result of the figures obtained for hypertension (39.9%) and obesity (26.6%), there is a need to implement strategies to reduce the presence of these conditions for their predisposition to other pathologies related to chronic cardiovascular diseases, said Rojo, who added that to date there were no studies that related the consumption of dairy products and the presence of these diseases.

Consumption of dairy products in Spain

This research has allowed not only highlight the association between the consumption of dairy products and the best metabolic profile in the adult Spanish population, but also show that women consume more milk, cheese or yogurt than men; while men take more sugary dairy products like smoothies or ice cream. “In the north of Spain is where they consume more dairy products and, in the east of the country is where (they eat) less,” says the coordinator.

The results show the beneficial effect of dairy consumption in the presence of hypertension and obesity, which could contribute to a better overall metabolic state and lower cardiovascular risk,” says the expert.

Dairy products are part of a healthy diet; they provide proteins of high biological value, vitamin B12, and are the most important source of calcium in the diet. Yogurt and many varieties of cheeses have low levels of lactose, so they would be indicated in people intolerant to lactose.

Although the fats in dairy products are mostly saturated, their role in relation to chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity, is currently under discussion,” explains Gabriel Olveira. “In a healthy population, the intake of 2-4 servings of dairy products falls into a healthy pattern of eating, even if they are not skimmed, although they should be preferably not sugary. For people who are overweight, obese, or have elevated lipids, it would be recommended to take them in its semi-skimmed or skimmed version,” he adds.

 

Source: SINC