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Adv Nutr. 2017 Nov 15;8(6):812-829. doi: 10.3945/an.116.013946. Print 2017 Nov.

Yogurt and Cardiometabolic Diseases: A Critical Review of Potential Mechanisms.

Author information

  • 1Heart and Lung Institute of Quebec.
  • 2Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods.
  • 3School of Nutrition, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, and.
  • 4Departments of Kinesiology and.
  • 5Heart and Lung Institute of Quebec,
  • 6Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, Quebec, Canada.


Associations between yogurt intake and risk of diet-related cardiometabolic diseases (CMDs) have been the subject of recent research in epidemiologic nutrition. A healthy dietary pattern has been identified as a pillar for the prevention of weight gain and CMDs. Epidemiologic studies suggest that yogurt consumption is linked to healthy dietary patterns, lifestyles, and reduced risk of CMDs, particularly type 2 diabetes. However, to our knowledge, few to no randomized controlled trials have investigated yogurt intake in relation to cardiometabolic clinical outcomes. Furthermore, there has been little attempt to clarify the mechanisms that underlie the potential beneficial effects of yogurt consumption on CMDs. Yogurt is a nutrient-dense dairy food and has been suggested to reduce weight gain and prevent CMDs by contributing to intakes of protein, calcium, bioactive lipids, and several other micronutrients. In addition, fermentation with bacterial strains generates bioactive peptides, resulting in a potentially greater beneficial effect of yogurt on metabolic health than nonfermented dairy products such as milk. To date, there is little concrete evidence that the mechanisms proposed in observational studies to explain positive results of yogurt on CMDs or parameters are valid. Many proposed mechanisms are based on assumptions that commercial yogurts contain strain-specific probiotics, that viable yogurt cultures are present in adequate quantities, and that yogurt provides a minimum threshold dose of nutrients or bioactive components capable of exerting a physiologic effect. Therefore, the primary objective of this review is to investigate the plausibility of potential mechanisms commonly cited in the literature in order to shed light on the inverse associations reported between yogurt intake and various cardiometabolic health parameters that are related to its nutrient profile, bacterial constituents, and food matrix. This article reviews current gaps and challenges in identifying such mechanisms and provides a perspective on the research agenda to validate the proposed role of yogurt in protecting against CMDs.


bioactive peptides; cardiometabolic diseases; dairy; fermented dairy; food matrix; hypertension; microbiota; obesity; type 2 diabetes; yogurt

[Available on 2018-11-01]
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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