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Inflammation is important as it’s the body’s first line of defense against illness and injury. However, if it lasts too long, it can lead to chronic inflammation. With chronic inflammation, the body begins to attack itself, increasing the risk for health problems such as inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, asthma, obesity as well as chronic diseases like metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. However, a recent study has highlighted the possible effects yogurt can have on inflammation.

The study on yogurt and inflammation

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison explored the hypothesis that yogurt may help reduce inflammation as anti-inflammatory medications, although beneficial, each comes with its own risks and side effects. The hypothesis examines the plausibility of yogurt improving intestinal lining, thus preventing pro-inflammatory molecules from entering the bloodstream. The study registered 120 premenopausal women – half of whom were obese and half of which weren’t. Sixty of the women ate 12 ounces (around 350ml) of low-fat yogurt every day for nine weeks, while the other 60 consumed non-dairy pudding for nine weeks.

At various points during the study, the researchers also took fasting blood samples from participants and assessed and collected biomarkers that scientists use to measure inflammation. The participants also partook in a high-calorie meal challenge where they started with a serving of yogurt or non-dairy pudding followed by a large, high-fat, high-carb breakfast meal.

The results

The results revealed the plausibility that consuming yogurt does provide anti-inflammatory effects. Specifically, the blood work revealed that yogurt appetizers helped to reduce inflammation with yogurt-eaters having improvements in certain key markers – one is TNF, which is an important inflammation-activating protein.

The verdict

The study helps highlight how foods can impact inflammation. Despite a promising study, it doesn’t identify which compounds in yogurt are responsible for the change in inflammation, thus more research is required. Furthermore, the study was funded by the National Dairy Council, which is a non-profit organization whose objective is to promote dairy products.

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Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a beauty and wellness writer who has a passion for poetry, equality, natural hair, and skin-care. With a journalism degree from Pearson's Institute of Higher Education, and identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to continuously provide the latest information, be it beauty or wellness, on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.