Background: Dairy product intake may be inversely associated with risk of type 2 diabetes, but the evidence is inconclusive for total dairy products and sparse for types of dairy products.
Objective: The objective was to investigate the prospective association of total dairy products and different dairy subtypes with incidence of diabetes in populations with marked variation of intake of these food groups.
Design: A nested case-cohort within 8 European countries of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Study (n = 340,234; 3.99 million person-years of follow-up) included a random subcohort (n = 16,835) and incident diabetes cases (n = 12,403). Baseline dairy product intake was assessed by using dietary questionnaires. Country-specific Prentice-weighted Cox regression HRs were calculated and pooled by using a random-effects meta-analysis.
Results: Intake of total dairy products was not associated with diabetes (HR for the comparison of the highest with the lowest quintile of total dairy products: 1.01; 95% CI: 0.83, 1.34; P-trend = 0.92) in an analysis adjusted for age, sex, BMI, diabetes risk factors, education, and dietary factors. Of the dairy subtypes, cheese intake tended to have an inverse association with diabetes (HR: 0.88; 95% CI: 0.76, 1.02; P-trend = 0.01), and a higher combined intake of fermented dairy products (cheese, yogurt, and thick fermented milk) was inversely associated with diabetes (HR: 0.88; 95% CI: 0.78, 0.99; P-trend = 0.02) in adjusted analyses that compared extreme quintiles.
Conclusions: This large prospective study found no association between total dairy product intake and diabetes risk. An inverse association of cheese intake and combined fermented dairy product intake with diabetes is suggested, which merits further study. Ant J Clin Nutr 2012;96:382-90.
2012. Vol. 96, no 2, 382-390 p.