A new study funded by National Dairy Council (NDC) shows that healthy, pre-menopausal women who consumed low-fat yogurt before meals reduced their risk for inflammation following the meal.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection, but if the inflammatory response persists for too long, it can lead to chronic inflammation where the body essentially attacks itself and damages organs. Chronic inflammation is a factor in inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and asthma. It also is associated with obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases.
The research was conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The study explored the hypothesis that eating yogurt before a high-fat, high-calorie meal may help reduce inflammation by improving the integrity of the intestinal lining, thus preventing endotoxins (pro-inflammatory molecules produced by gut microbes) from crossing into the bloodstream.
These findings on yogurt combined with a study published in November on yogurt’s role in reducing chronic inflammation add to the body of evidence of the important role of eating yogurt for health, said Dr. Chris Cifelli, Vice President of Nutrition Research for NDC.
“Eating yogurt before meals is an easy – and tasty – way to help reduce inflammation, which is linked to several chronic diseases including heart disease,” Cifelli said. “The next time someone asks, ‘What anti-inflammatory foods should I eat?’ be sure to share the emerging research on low-fat yogurt!”
The full research article is available in The Journal of Nutrition.