Newsweek – Drinking milk could reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes if you lack the enzymes to break it down.
Approximately 1 in 10 Americans has diabetes, 90 to 95 percent of whom have Type 2, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body’s cells become resistant to the hormone insulin, which is important in controlling blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes is often preventable, with risk factors including being overweight, not getting enough exercise and genetics. Diet can also play an important role.
In the past, the relationship between milk intake and Type 2 diabetes has been controversial. While some studies have shown a clear protective association, others have shown no correlation or even an increased risk of diabetes among milk drinkers.
In a new study, published in the journal Nature Metabolism, researchers from across the U.S. have put this controversy to rest, highlighting a simple genetic variant that underpins these contrasting effects.
In a study of over 12,000 Hispanic/Latino U.S. adults, the team, led by Qibin Qi of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Harvard Medical School, found that higher dietary milk intake was associated with a 30 percent decrease in diabetes risk, but only in individuals with a particular variant of one specific gene.
The gene in question encodes the enzyme lactase, which is essential for the breakdown of milk sugars …