Magazine article USA TODAY

Dairy Curbs Heart Disease and Diabetes. (Prevention)

Magazine article USA TODAY

Dairy Curbs Heart Disease and Diabetes. (Prevention)

Article excerpt

A new study suggests that young adults who consume more dairy products may be less likely to become obese and develop insulin resistance syndrome (IRS), a key risk factor for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. According to the National Dairy Council, these findings are consistent with a growing body of research that demonstrates dairy's role in reducing the risk of obesity and other chronic diseases.

The multicenter study examined the correlation between dairy intake and IRS, a condition many Americans don't know much about, but which may affect about one in four adults. IRS, also known as metabolic syndrome or syndrome X, occurs when the body's cells are resistant to the insulin produced by the pancreas--which means blood sugar is not properly controlled and the body may compensate by trying to produce even more insulin. In addition to abnormal blood sugar control, characteristics of IRS include obesity, high blood pressure, and abnormal blood lipids.

The researchers looked at eating patterns of 3,157 young adults over a 10-year period. Two comprehensive food intake reports were averaged--one taken at the start of the study, the other seven years later--to determine participants' habitual intake of dairy products and other foods. The results showed that overweight individuals, regardless of race or sex, who consumed more dairy products had a lower risk of developing IRS. …

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