Research published in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who consume full-fat dairy products, such as whole milk, yogurt and cheese, are less likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome. This is a cluster of conditions (such as high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels) which together increase the risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease.
“Total and especially full-fat dairy food intakes are inversely and independently associated with metabolic syndrome in middle-aged and older adults, associations that seem to be mediated by dairy saturated fatty acids,” the research said.
“Dietary recommendations to avoid full-fat dairy intake are not supported by our findings.”
Researchers went in with the background knowledge that dairy products may product positive cardiometabolic effects. However, many current guidelines, such as the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, suggest limiting the intake of these types of products or replacing whole-fat products with those lower in fat content.
To assess this advice, researchers investigated the association of dairy consumption, its products and dairy fat content with metabolic syndrome.
They looked at baseline data from the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health, featuring more than 15,000 adults ages 35 to 74, and excluded patients with metabolic diseases.
After looking at aspects of dairy consumption, metabolic risk, blood pressure and more, the researchers found an inverse association for metabolic disease with regular and full-fat dairy, but none with low-fat dairy.
According to statistics from the USDA, there were more than 36m pounds of whole milk sold in the US in 1975. As of 2014, that number was just under 14m pounds.
Source: The Journal of Nutrition, October 28, 2015, doi: 10.3945/jn.115.220699.
Title: "Total and Full-Fat, but Not Low-Fat, Dairy Product Intakes are Inversely Associated with Metabolic Syndrome in Adults"
Authors: M. Drehmer, M. Pereira, M. Schmidt, S. Alvim, P. Lotufo, V. Luft, and B. Duncan.