The researchers say they found adults who eat a 125g serving of yogurt four or five times a week have a 28% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes compared with those who eat none.
Dr. Nita Forouhi of the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge in England said the team used data from a larger study involving 25,000 men and women living in Norfolk, England.
Forouhi, the study leader, and colleagues compared detailed daily record of all the food and drink consumed over a week among 753 people who developed new-onset type 2 diabetes over 11 years of follow-up with 3,502 randomly selected study participants.
The study, published in Diabetologia, found total milk and cheese intake were not associated with diabetes risk. However, those who ate the highest amount of low-fat fermented dairy products such as yogurt, fromage frais and low-fat cottage cheese were 24% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes over the 11-year study period.
When examined separately from the other low-fat fermented dairy products, yogurt was associated with a 28% risk reduction, the study found.