Your grandmother was right. According to a new study, eating yogurt may help reduce chronic inflammation, a factor in bowel disease, arthritis and asthma. The research, published in the Journal of Nutrition, explored the hypothesis that yogurt may help reduce inflammation by improving the integrity of the intestinal lining.
This could help prevent endotoxins – pro-inflammatory molecules produced by gut microbes – from crossing into the blood stream. “I wanted to look at the mechanism more closely and look specifically at yogurt,” said Brad Bolling, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US.
While anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin, naproxen, hydrocortisone and prednisone can help mitigate the effects of chronic inflammation, each comes with its own risks and side effects.
Yogurt is also a good source of nutrients such as vitamin B12 and calcium. It also contains high levels of proteins, which has been shown beneficial to the body.
Method for the study
The study enrolled 120 premenopausal women, half obese and half non-obese. Half of the participants were assigned to eat 12 ounces of low-fat yogurt every day for nine weeks; a control group ate non-dairy pudding for nine weeks.
Bolling and his team took fasting blood samples from participants and evaluated an assortment of biomarkers that scientists have used over the years to measure endotoxin exposure and inflammation. The results showed that while some of the biomarkers remained steady over time, the yogurt-eaters experienced significant improvements in certain key markers, such as TNF, an important inflammation-activating protein.
According to nutritionist Kejal Sheth, “Yogurt contains probiotics, which is beneficial for a healthy gut. A healthy gut will definitely help reduce inflammation. For an added benefit, you can eat yogurt with muesli, nuts, seeds and fruits or blend it up as breakfast smoothie.”
Consuming yogurt everyday could also help strengthen your immune system. However, the best thing about yogurt (apart from the fact that it’s so nutrient dense) is also the fact that it helps with the absorption of minerals such as zinc and magnesium.
(With inputs from PTI)
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