New York - Relishing yogurt as an "appetizer" may help reduce chronic inflammation -- a key factor associated with bowel disease, arthritis and asthma as well as cardiometabolic diseases, finds a study.
The findings showed that yogurt may help reduce inflammation by improving the integrity of the intestinal lining, thus preventing endotoxins -- pro-inflammatory molecules produced by gut microbes -- from crossing into the blood stream.
"Eating eight ounces of low-fat yogurt before a meal is a feasible strategy to improve post-meal metabolism and thus may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases," said Ruisong Pei, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US.
For the new study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, the team enrolled 120 pre menopausal 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.
The participants were also involved in a high-calorie meal challenge at the beginning and end of their nine-week dietary intervention. The challenge, meant to stress an individual's metabolism, started with either a serving of yogurt or non-dairy pudding followed by a large high-fat, high-carb breakfast meal.