Milk Lowers Men’s Metabolic Syndrome Risk

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A study of 2,375 middle-aged British men reports that those whodrank at least a pint of milk a day were 62 percent less likely thannon-milk-drinkers to have metabolic syndrome (defined as raisedlevels of two or more of the following: blood glucose, insulin,blood fats, body fat, and blood pressure).

And they were 56 percent less likely to have it if they ate othermilk products like cheese and yogurt. In fact, the more total dairythe men consumed, the less likely they were to have metabolicsyndrome.

The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and CommunityHealth, went on to track the men over a twenty-year period, but theresearchers found no link between dairy intake at the outset andfuture risk of diabetes.

Another recent review of studies, however, has found that a lack ofvitamin D and calcium in the diet may increase risk for metabolicsyndrome and type 2 diabetes.

According to the review, published in the Journal of ClinicalEndocrinology and Metabolism, people with the highest intakes ofvitamin D and calcium had an eighteen percent lower risk of diabetesthan those who ate the least. And people who ate the most dairyfoods had about a fourteen percent lower risk than those who ate theleast.

The researchers hypothesize that calcium and vitamin D may beimportant in the functioning of pancreatic beta cells and in thebody's use of insulin. They conclude that a lack of the nutrientsmight negatively influence blood sugar, while supplementation ofboth nutrients might be beneficial for optimizing glucosemetabolism.

More clinical trials are called for, however, to determine ifcalcium or vitamin D should be recommended for managing type 2diabetes.

Sources: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, August 2007;Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, July 2007;MedpageToday.com; Medline Plus

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