More and more people are getting diabetes; this is why diabetes is becoming a common medical condition nowadays. This disease is a condition wherein the body does not regulate blood glucose levels properly due to a lack (or lower levels) of insulin or due to the resistance of body tissues to the action of insulin. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to excessively high glucose levels in the blood which can further damage blood vessels and other organs in the body. Diabetes can have many complications such as heart disease, blindness, nerve damage, eye damage, stroke, kidney disease and impotence. It can also raise the risk for infections especially those located in the skin and in the lower limbs. Extensive damage can occur in the limbs which can lead to amputation. Diabetes can decrease immune resistance and can earlier lead to death. This is why diabetes needs to be prevented as soon as possible.
There are three types of diabetes, Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin dependent diabetes because people who have it suffer from a lack of insulin or lower insulin levels. In these patients, insulin is needed to lower blood sugar levels. On the other hand, Type 2 diabetes is the most common type and is insulin independent. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the tissues fail to respond to the actions of insulin or when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin. People with Type 2 diabetes are often obese or overweight. Gestational diabetes occurs when a pregnant woman has elevated blood sugar levels only during pregnancy and who has never had diabetes before. The woman may or may not develop Type 2 diabetes later in life.
All these types of diabetes bypass the normal ways by which the body regulates blood glucose levels. After intake of food, it gets broken up into smaller pieces and acted upon by enzymes to be reduced into glucose, the raw material for energy. Usually the pancreas releases insulin to stimulate cells to absorb glucose from the blood and to make the liver absorb and store excess glucose. Insulin is released after consuming a meal and acts in opposite with another hormone, glucagon.
Type 2 diabetes can be treated with medications and diet. However, scientists are constantly on the lookout for more natural ways on how to deal with diabetes. A recent study published in the journal Diabetologia has found out that eating yogurt can reduce the risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes. This study done by researchers from University of Cambridge has emphasized the fact that consuming low-fat fermented products such as yogurt and low-fat cheeses can reduce diabetes risk by 24 percent overall. The researchers presumed that this effect may be attributed to the fact that this may be due to the fact that yogurt and low-fat dairy products can provide the necessary amounts of protein and nutrients without giving the consumer an excess amount of fat.
Yogurt and Type 2 Diabetes
It is widely known that while milk and dairy products are a good source of protein and essential vitamins and minerals, they can also be a source of saturated fat, which is implicated in dangerous medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. There have been studies in the past about dairy consumption and diabetes, however they have been inconclusive. This was what prompted the research team to investigate whether low fat dairy products can indeed reduce the risk for diabetes. This study utilized data from over 25 thousand men and women from Norfolk, UK. These people completed a daily intake record for a week. About 753 participants developed new onset type 2 diabetes, so that the food diaries of these people were examined. It was found out that while total dairy and low-fat dairy products intake was not associated with type 2 diabetes, those who consumed more low-fat fermented dairy products such as yogurt and low fat cheese were 24% less likely to have type 2 diabetes later on in life for over 11 years. It was also found out that those whose daily intake included yogurt, making up 85% of the low fat dairy products, there was a 28% of risk reduction in type 2 diabetes.
The findings of this study are important because it makes us aware of what type of foods should a person eat to lower his or her risk for type 2 diabetes. In the future, there may be more research to be done on what food groups are advisable to be consumed by diabetics to control their blood glucose levels.
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