This site is intended for health professionals only

Dairy products may cut disease risk

A new study shows that consuming dairy products can help reduce the risk of developing a condition linked to diabetes and heart disease.

Drinking milk or eating cheese can limit a person's chances of getting metabolic syndrome, which is also known as insulin resistance.

It is believed that up to 25% of the UK population may currently be affected by the condition.

Those with condition tend to have excess body fat around the abdomen, high cholesterol and high levels of glucose in the blood.

Having the syndrome increases the risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes, or having a stroke, all of which are often linked to obesity and unhealthy lifestyles.

A total of 2,375 men without diabetes were monitored over a 20-year period as part of the Caerphilly Prospective Study.

The research, carried out at Cardiff University, reveals that men who regularly drink milk and eat dairy products are far less likely to have the syndrome than those who consume little or none of the products.

Jemma Edwards, care adviser at Diabetes UK, said: "The results of this study are interesting.

"Dairy products are an important part of a healthy, balanced diet and we would recommend people aim to eat two to three servings of low-fat dairy a day.

"Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and physical activity are vital in reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes."

Cardiff University

Copyright © PA Business 2007