Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Nutr. 2018 Apr;37(2):712-718. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2017.02.022. Epub 2017 Mar 8.

Dairy intake and risk of type 2 diabetes.

Author information

Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore. Electronic address:
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, MOE Key Lab of Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China.
Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore; Duke-NUS Medical School Singapore, Singapore. Electronic address:



The effect of total dairy products, milk, and calcium intake on risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is uncertain, particularly in the Chinese population.


The present study was based on a prospective cohort of 63,257 Chinese men and women aged 45-74 years during enrollment (1993-1998) in Singapore. Dietary information was obtained using a validated 165-item semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire. Information about newly diagnosed T2D was collected by self-report during two follow-up interviews in 1999-2004 and 2006-2010. Cox proportional hazard regression method was used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) in 45,411 eligible participants.


Incidence rate (95% CI) of T2D was 10.5 (10.2-10.8) per 1000 person-years. Intake of dairy food was significantly associated with reduced T2D risk; compared with the lowest quartile, HRs (95% CI) for the second, third and fourth quartiles of dairy intake were 0.98 (0.91-1.06), 0.96 (0.89-1.03) and 0.90 (0.83-0.98), respectively, after adjustment for potential confounders at baseline (P-trend = 0.01). Daily drinkers of milk had a significant 12% reduction in T2D risk compared with non-drinkers. While dairy calcium was associated with a decreased risk of T2D (HR comparing extreme quartiles 0.84; 95% CI 0.76-0.93; P-trend = 0.001), no association was found for non-dairy calcium (HR 1.02; 95% CI 0.92-1.14; P-trend = 0.61).


In this large cohort study of Chinese adults, dairy product intake and daily milk consumption was associated with a statistically significant, although modest, decrease in risk of developing T2D, which may be independent of its calcium content.


Calcium; Chinese; Dairy products; Milk; Prospective cohort study; Type 2 diabetes

[Available on 2019-04-01]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center