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Regular consumption of dairy products

Dairy products are a source of protein, vitamins and minerals and are associated with various health effects. Please note: full-fat dairy products in particular, such as milk, cheese, yoghurt and cream, contain relatively high levels of saturated fat. Dairy products that are lower in fat, such as buttermilk, low-fat quark, semi-skimmed milk and low-fat yoghurt, are a good alternative. You could also try putting a little less cheese in your sandwich.

##Regular consumption of dairy products and your health There are a number of health effects associated with the regular consumption of dairy products.

Dairy products reduce the risk of a stroke

here is evidence that the consumption of semi-skimmed and skimmed/low-fat dairy products is associated with a lower risk of a stroke. This link has not been proven for full-fat dairy products; these could in fact increase the risk.

Dairy products reduce the risk of osteoporosis

Dairy products are a good source of proteins and calcium, which are both essential for strong bones. Fermented dairy products in particular, such as yoghurt, buttermilk and quark, reduce the risk of bone fractures. This link has not been proven for the consumption of milk.

Consuming sufficient proteins and calcium every day reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Besides calcium, other factors also have a role to play, such as other minerals, sufficient exercise and vitamins D and K.

Dairy products reduce the risk of bowel cancer

Daily consumption of dairy products, in particular milk, is associated with a lower risk of developing bowel cancer. The evidence primarily suggests that calcium has a protective effect.

Calcium inhibits unwanted cell division and protects the cells against damage caused by bile acids. The total consumption of calcium, from dairy, supplements and other foodstuffs, helps reduce the risk of bowel cancer.

Yoghurt reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes

Eating a daily portion of yoghurt is associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes. Yoghurt could have an effect on your energy balance by filling you up more quickly and improving your insulin sensitivity. Gut flora may play an important role here.

Be wary of fruit yoghurt; this often contains high levels of added sugar. This will actually cause your blood glucose to rise quickly. Also be wary of full-fat yoghurt. It is best to eat half-fat or low-fat variants.

##iGene Passport iGene offers you an insight into your personal risks of developing conditions and tells you whether dairy products may be particularly important for you to help prevent certain conditions. In addition, an iGene Passport provides you with information on what else you can do to reduce any risks. Here we focus on behaviour that will help you maximise the benefits to your health. In the publication below you can read more about what iGene can do for you.

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