Recent findings suggest that drinking milk as a teenager may reduce the risk of developing diabetes

New findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that women who drink low-fat milk in their teenage years could have a 43 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes in later life.

The study found that drinking milk during adolescence would probably turn in to a life-long habit, which can have a beneficial impact in adulthood.

The research was carried out at Harvard University where scientists studied food intake patterns including milk and other dairy products, in 37,000 female teens and adults.

They discovered that compared to volunteers who had one serving of dairy a day, the chance of developing type-2 diabetes was 42 per cent lower for women who had reported consuming four servings of milk as teenagers.

It was also revealed that milk drinkers were thinner in comparison to the non-milk drinking participants, which is also a key factor for lessening the chance of diabetes.

A second study of 440,000 people by Harvard scientists found a 17 per cent lower risk of type-2 diabetes among those who had swapped low-fat milk for meat, especially as a key protein source.

Both of these studies were observational, but suggest that curbing weight gain and reducing the chances of developing type-2 diabetes may be possible from getting protein from milk, especially low-fat milk.

A recent report from the NHS Information Centre claimed that diabetes now accounts for almost a tenth of the health services annual drugs bill, with approximately £725 million spent on medication for the disease in 2010-11.

NHS Diabetes is a national organisation that supports the improvement in diabetes services in the UK. In 2011/12 there aim is to embed safe, evidence-based best practice across the diabetes community.

View the original Exam Health article here.

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Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

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