Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Linking Foods, Behavior and Metabolism to Promote a Healthy Body Weight

Location: Obesity and Metabolism Research Unit

Title: Associations between dairy foods, diabetes, and metabolic health: potential mechanisms and future directions

Authors
item Hirahatake, Kristin
item Slavin, Joanne -
item Maki, Kevin -
item Adams, Sean

Submitted to: Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 12, 2014
Publication Date: May 1, 2014
Citation: Hirahatake, K., Slavin, J., Maki, K.C., Adams, S.H. 2014. Associations between dairy foods, diabetes, and metabolic health: potential mechanisms and future directions. Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental. 63:618-627. DOI: 10.1016/jmetabol.2014.02.009.

Interpretive Summary: Context: Epidemiological evidence supports an inverse relationship between adequate intake of dairy foods and susceptibility to type 2 diabetes (T2D). The biological mechanisms responsible for this association remain to be established. Evidence Acquisition & Synthesis: Epidemiological studies indicate that consumption of milk and dairy products is almost uniformly associated with a lower incidence of T2D, and a positive role for dairy-rich diets on cardiometabolic health indices is supported by results from animal and cell culture models. This review provides a current perspective on proposed mechanisms that may underlie these effects, and highlights how randomized clinical trials can be applied to investigate these relationships. Conclusions: Emerging evidence indicates that dairy components that alter mitochondrial function (e.g., leucine actions on silent information regulator transcript 1 (SIRT1)-associated pathways), promote gut microbial population shifts, or influence inflammation and cardiovascular function (e.g., Ca-regulated peptides, calcitonin gene-related peptide [CGRP] or calcitonin) should be considered as part of the mechanisms of dairy's effects on cardiometabolic health. The possibility that dairy-derived trans-palmitoleic acid (tC16:1) has metabolic bioactivities has also been proposed. Pre-clinical and clinical studies focusing specifically on these parameters are needed to validate hypotheses regarding the potential roles of dairy products and their components on the determinants of glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, pancreatic endocrine function, and inflammation in individuals at-risk for T2D development. Positive outcomes from these studies would complement epidemiological data to bolster the evidence base for recommendations regarding consumption of dairy products and their individual components.

Technical Abstract: Context: Epidemiological evidence supports an inverse relationship between adequate intake of dairy foods and susceptibility to type 2 diabetes (T2D). The biological mechanisms responsible for this association remain to be established. Evidence Acquisition & Synthesis: Epidemiological studies indicate that consumption of milk and dairy products is almost uniformly associated with a lower incidence of T2D, and a positive effect of dairy-rich diets on cardiometabolic health indices is supported by results from animal and cell culture models. This review provides a current perspective on proposed mechanisms that may underlie these effects, and highlights how randomized clinical trials can be applied to investigate these relationships. Conclusions: Emerging evidence indicates that dairy components that alter mitochondrial function (e.g., leucine actions on silent information regulator transcript 1 (SIRT1)-associated pathways), promote gut microbial population shifts, or influence inflammation and cardiovascular function (e.g., Ca-regulated peptides, calcitonin gene-related peptide [CGRP] or calcitonin) should be considered as part of the mechanisms of dairy's effect on cardiometabolic health. The possibility that dairy-derived trans-palmitoleic acid (tC16:1) has metabolic bioactivities has also been proposed. Pre-clinical and clinical studies focusing specifically on these parameters are needed to validate hypotheses regarding the potential roles of dairy products and their components on the determinants of glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, pancreatic endocrine function, and inflammation in individuals at-risk for T2D development. Positive outcomes from these studies would complement epidemiological data to bolster the evidence base for recommendations regarding consumption of dairy products and their individual components.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page