Features May 2011 Issue

Dairy Products Linked to Lower Diabetes and Heart Disease Risks

However, the protective trans-palmitoleic acid in milk is found in highest concentrations in whole milk, so caution is advised.

Dairy products, which are known for the health benefits they provide as sources of protein, calcium and other nutrients, appear to have another advantage. Research published in the Dec. 21, 2010 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine found that people with higher blood levels of trans-palmitoleic acid were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes and other metabolic complications such as unhealthy cholesterol levels. Trans-palmitoleic acid is a naturally occurring fatty acid that is produced by the stomach bacteria in ruminant animals, such as cows. However, researchers found that there is less trans-palmitoleic acid in low-fat or non-fat milk products than in whole-milk dairy products.

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