Potential effects of short- and long-term intake of fermented dairy products on prevention and control of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Discipline: dairy and health; Keywords: functional foods, fermented products, dairy products, type 2 diabetes 

About 10% of the world population are currently living with diabetes, corresponding to a total of 463 million individuals worldwide. Many health problems are associated with diabetes, including cardiovascular disease, nephropathy, retinopathy, neuropathy and gestational complications. Additionally, diabetes poses a significant financial burden, with 10% of the global health expenditure being spent on research, prevention and treatment thereof. Therefore, effective, efficient, affordable and practical evidence-informed approaches should be developed for the prevention and treatment of diabetes whenever possible.

The consumption of fermented dairy products is thought to potentially prevent or help to control type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) through mechanisms of increased satiety, improved insulin sensitivity, increased glucose tolerance and maintenance of the gut microbiota. However, research results are inconsistent, and a recent meta-analysis of observational studies reported a neutral association between intake of fermented dairy and T2DM. The meta-analysis was limited by the lack of examination of the effect of fermented dairy consumption on diabetes prevention. Moreover, this meta-analysis only explored the effect of yogurt on diabetes risk without evaluating the effect of other fermented dairy products such as kefir and cheese. Therefore, the invited review by Dr Sarah F. Awwad and co-workers aimed to address current research gaps by evaluating the findings of prospective cohort studies, human experimental trials, and animal studies that focused on the association between intake of fermented dairy and development or management of T2DM. The objective of this review which was published in the Journal of Dairy Science, Volume 105 of 2022 (page 4722 to 4733) ,was to gain insightful and comprehensive knowledge of the potential long- and short-term effects of fermented dairy, dairy subgroups and specific fermented dairy products on the prevention and treatment of T2DM. The title of the review is: Potential effects of short- and long-term intake of fermented dairy products on prevention and control of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The authors evaluated evidence from a cross-sectional analysis of longitudinal studies and human and animal experimental trials to further understand the current knowledge linking short- and long-term consumption of fermented dairy products to T2DM.

Cohort studies mostly revealed a protective effect of fermented dairy products on T2DM development, with yogurt noted as the most consistent food item protecting against the disease. Human experimental trials and animal studies revealed improvements in biomarkers of glycaemic control with short-term monitored intake of fermented dairy products from various sources. Therefore, it can be concluded that fermented dairy products may offer protection against the development and may have therapeutic benefits for individuals with T2DM. This could influence dietary recommendations and the development of functional foods aiming to minimize the risk of T2DM.