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Exploring the Health Benefits of Yoghurt | Charalambides Christis

November 23, 2023

Maintaining a well-rounded diet is crucial for promoting overall health and relies heavily on appropriate nutritional choices. Among the various foods, yoghurt has been scientifically acknowledged for its positive impact on our well-being.

Yoghurt is a powerhouse of nutrients, boasting a dense nutritional profile. Packed with both micronutrients—such as vitamins and minerals—and macronutrients, including proteins and fatty acids, yogurt stands out as a healthful option (1). Notably, the protein in yogurt is of high quality, encompassing all essential amino acids required for effective protein synthesis. The fermentation process involved in yogurt production makes these proteins more digestible than those found in regular milk (2).

Beyond its well-known calcium content, yogurt offers a spectrum of other micronutrients like potassium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B5, and vitamin B12 (3).

Yoghurt consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes (T2D), a prevalent global health concern characterized by elevated blood glucose levels. Cohort studies indicate several factors contributing to this association (4,5,6,7):

  • Yoghurt's low glycemic index suggests it doesn't cause significant spikes in blood glucose levels after meals.
  • Yoghurt consumers often exhibit healthier lifestyles, lowering the risk of T2D development.
  • Live bacteria in yogurt can enhance gut microbiota composition, potentially reducing T2D-related inflammation.
  • Yoghurt also plays a role in supporting cardiovascular health, a critical aspect of overall well-being. A diet rich in yoghurt, especially when paired with fruits, has been associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and high blood pressure (8).

The positive impact on cardiovascular health can be attributed to various components in yoghurt (9,10,11):

  • Micronutrients like calcium, potassium, and magnesium are linked to a reduced risk of stroke.
  • Yoghurt and dairy products contain micronutrients and proteins associated with lower blood pressure.
  • Certain saturated fatty acids in dairy products, such as lauric acid, may possess anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Fermented dairy products, like yoghurt, have a high antioxidant potential, contributing to healthy aging.

Yoghurt, as part of the dairy group, is recommended in dietary guidelines for its essential nutrients supporting bone health. Rich in calcium and proteins, yoghurt aids in the healthy growth of bones during childhood and adolescence. Moreover, yoghurt consumption may reduce the risk of osteoporosis and hip fractures in the elderly (15).

Statistical models predict a significant decrease in the risk of osteoporosis with increased yoghurt intake (16). Encouraging regular yoghurt consumption can thus be a valuable public health strategy for promoting healthy growth and preventing osteoporosis.


(1) YINI Digest, 2014. What added value does yogurt bring to dairy protein?.

(2) Adolfsson O, Meydani SN, Russell RM. Yogurt and gut function. Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80(2):245-56.

(3) Williams EB, Hooper B, Spiro A, et al. The contribution of yogurt to nutrient intakes across the life course. Nutrition Bulletin 2015;40:9–32.

(4) Marette A, Picard-Deland E. Yogurt consumption and impact on health: focus on children and cardiometabolic risk. Am J Clin Nutr 2014;99:1243S–7S.

(5) Chen M, Sun Q, Giovannucci E, et al. Dairy consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: 3 cohorts of US adults and an updated meta-analysis. BMC Med 2014;12:215.

(6) Aune D, Norat T, Romundstad P, et al. Dairy products and the risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and doseresponse meta-analysis of cohort studies. Am J Clin Nutr 2013;98:1066–83.

(7) Gijsbers L, Ding EL, Malik VS, et al. Consumption of dairy foods and diabetes incidence: a dose-response metaanalysis of observational studies. Am J Clin Nutr 2016;103:1111–24.

(8) Wang H, Troy LM, Rogers GT, et al. Longitudinal association between dairy consumption and changes of body weight and waist circumference: the Framingham Heart Study. Int J Obes (Lond) 2014;38:299–305.

(9) Givens DI. Saturated fats, dairy foods and health: a curious paradox? Nutrition Bulletin 2017;42:274–82.

(10)  Guo J, Astrup A, Lovegrove JA, et al. Milk and dairy consumption and risk of cardiovascular diseases and all-cause mortality: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Eur J Epidemiol 2017;32:269–87.

(11) Lordan R, Tsoupras A, Mitra B, et al. Dairy fats and cardiovascular disease: do we really need to be concerned? Foods 2018;7:29.

(12) Fardet A, Rock E. In vitro and in vivo antioxidant potential of milks, yoghurts, fermented milks and cheeses: a narrative review of evidence. Nutr Res Rev 2017; Oct 2:1–19.

(13) El-Abbadi NH, Dao MC, Meydani SN. Yogurt: role in healthy and active aging. Am J Clin Nutr 2014;99(5 Suppl):1263S–70S.

(14) Fernandez MA, Panahi S, Daniel N, et al. Yogurt and cardiometabolic diseases: a critical review of potential mechanisms. Adv Nutr 2017;8(6):812-829.

(15) Rozenberg S, Body JJ, Bruyère O, et al. Effects of dairy products consumption on health: Benefits and beliefs – a commentary from the Belgian Bone Club and the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases. Calcif Tissue Int 2016;98:1–17.

(16) Laird E, Molloy AM, McNulty H, et al. Greater yogurt consumption is associated with increased bone mineral density and physical function in older adults. Osteoporos Int 2017;28:2409–19.

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