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Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2015 Jan;25(1):3-8. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2014.07.013. Epub 2014 Aug 7.

Dairy consumption and insulin sensitivity: a systematic review of short- and long-term intervention studies.

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School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.
School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia. Electronic address:



Evidence from epidemiological studies suggests that higher consumption of dairy products may be inversely associated with risk of type 2 diabetes and other components of the metabolic syndrome, although the evidence is mixed. Intervention studies that increase dairy intake often involve lifestyle changes, including weight loss, which alone will improve insulin sensitivity. The aim of this review was to examine weight stable intervention studies that assess the effect of an increased intake of dairy products or dairy derived supplements on glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity.


An electronic search was conducted using MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Database and Web of Science for randomised controlled trials altering only dairy intake in humans with no other lifestyle or dietary change, particularly no weight change, and with measurement of glucose or insulin. Healthy participants and those with features of the metabolic syndrome were included. Chronic whey protein supplementation was also included. Ten studies were included in this systematic review.


In adults, four of the dairy interventions showed a positive effect on insulin sensitivity as assessed by Homeostasis Model Assessment (HOMA); one was negative and five had no effect. As the number of weight stable intervention studies is very limited and participant numbers small, these findings need to be confirmed by larger trials in order to conclusively determine any relationship between dairy intake and insulin sensitivity.


Dairy; Insulin sensitivity; Randomised controlled trial; Whey

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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