A high intake of dairy has been linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). The relationship between dairy intake and glucose metabolism is still not well understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the relation between the intake of total dairy and dairy subgroups and T2D and measures of glucose metabolism.
A total of 5953 Danish men and women aged 30-60 years without baseline diabetes or cardiovascular diseases were included in this prospective analysis. The dairy intake at baseline was categorised into low-fat dairy, full-fat dairy, milk and milk products, cheese and fermented dairy. Fasting plasma glucose (FPG), 2-h plasma glucose (2hPG), HbA1c, insulin resistance (HOMA2-IR) and beta-cell function (HOMA2-B) were considered at 5-year follow-up. In the maximally-adjusted model (demographics, lifestyle factors, dietary factors and waist), cheese intake was inversely associated with 2hPG (β = -0.048, 95% CI -0.095; -0.001). Fermented dairy intake was inversely associated with FPG (β = -0.028, 95% CI -0.048; -0.008) and HbA1c (β = -0.016, 95% CI -0.030; -0.001). Total dairy intake and the dairy subgroups were not related to HOMA-IR and HOMA-B in the maximally-adjusted model. Furthermore, there was no significant association between intake of total dairy or any of the dairy subgroups and incidence of T2D.
Our data suggest a modest beneficial effect of cheese and fermented dairy on glucose regulation measures; however, this did not translate into a significant association with incident T2D.